By Jose Zambrano, Rotary staff
It’s been almost two months since I started my training as part of the Miles to End Polio team. I can honestly say training for El Tour of Tucson has pushed me to my limits, but has also been an unbelievable experience.
Although I love outdoor activities, and am a very active person, my longest previous ride had been 40 miles. So trying to accomplish 104 miles is a huge challenge for me.
The workouts have not been easy. To be ready for the endurance that will be required to complete the ride, I have modified my workout routines for what will be the longest bike ride of my life. In testing my limits, I have experienced new levels of pain. But even though the process can be hard, I am trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I tackle every workout with a positive attitude and desire. I know that “I am what I chose to become.” And only if I stay committed and focused will I be able to complete the 104 miles.
The fact that we are close to eradicating polio and that I am able to help accomplish this mission is what keeps me motivated. Even though training is painful for the most part, I know what I am doing is helping get the word out about our efforts to fight polio.
In preparing, I am making sure to listen to my body during every workout, and scale the intensity of my workouts to meet my body’s needs. I think that eating healthy has been a fundamental part of my training and I have become more aware of the nutrients that my body needs to keep going. I am hoping to set an example, and show people that you can do anything that you desire as long as you are willing to apply yourself.
This has been a unique and unforgettable experience so far. Much like a roller coaster ride. Some days I feel great and super motivated to conquer every obstacle, which is typically my daily attitude. Others are more challenging. But I know that at the end of the effort, I will be proud of myself because I did my best and I am helping to protect children against polio.
Jose Zambrano is a contribution processor for The Rotary Foundation and one of several Rotary staff members who will join General Secretary John Hewko in biking El Tour de Tucson in Arizona to raise money for polio eradication. Read posts from other team members leading up to the 19 November event and learn how you can support the team.
Want to join the effort? Take part in the Indoor Ride to End Polio by riding a stationary bike at your local gym or at home anytime from 12 to 19 November.