Two Roads.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tampa Bay Beach Bums: Lupus Foundation Tournament

Shortly, I will be going through my third, and hopefully, final chemo treatment. I am grateful that this tournament was early enough in the month that I got to play before my treatment. Most people see the positive/healthier side of my condition. But this weekend my physical and mental resolve were challenged. To most people, it is just a volleyball game. For me, it is so much more. It is evidence that Lupus hasn't won.

My twin sister was in town for the event and it was so special to have her there. She has never seen me play beach volleyball before. 

Jenni and Me
After playing two sessions (all day) on Saturday and getting 5th place with my girl Jenni, I was completely spent on Sunday. Getting out of bed Sunday morning was rough, to say the least. My sister Kelli had to liquid band-aid the cuts on the bottom of my feet and tape my torn (and now very sore) shoulder. 
My twin Kelli and ME

Every inflamed and swollen joint in my body was screaming at me to stay in bed. During pool play, my asthma started acting up and we went 2-1. My lungs were on fire and all I could think about was letting my partner down

Me and Mark in pool-play

Our first game in playoffs was a fun, but competitive, game that we won 21-17. The second game we won 21-19. The third game we didn't realize had a cap (first team to 25) so we played and won 29-27 after having already (but unknowingly) won 25-24. Half-way thru that game, I didn't think my body was going to make it. I was sucking down air, my legs were dead and my shoulder was throbbing.

But my partner Mark gets it. He looked at me, put his forehead on mine and said, "I know you're tired and I know you hurt, but if you want to win you're going to have to suck it up."
Our next game we won 22-20 and then we were in the finals playing two fantastic players. As they pulled away 16-19 and Mark started cramping so bad he could barely move, winning seemed just out of reach. But then one point after another we tied it 19-19...and then 20-20. As I went back to serve my shoulder was at its worse, but then it was 21-20 and then....ACE! We won 22-20 against a strong team.

First Place with Mark Suter

I couldn't believe it, but the win gave my body permission to collapse. I was shaking and could barely walk. Mark and I had won the tournament honoring the Lupus Foundation and in a

I had to take the elevator in my apartment when I got home because stairs just weren't an option and I was pretty much bedridden for the next two days, but it was worth it.
Donations are still rolling in and I am so excited for the Lupus Walk on May 7th. Invite your friends and let's have a huge Beach Bums group!!!!!!
To register and donate:

Special THANK YOU to the Tampa Bay Beach Bums

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