I’ve never considered myself an athlete, let alone a tri-athlete. But when Kyle took on a new challenge and signed up for the TriRock Philly Sprint Tri (swim 0.5 mi, bike 15.7 mi, run 5K), Jamie and I decided we could push ourselves too and signed up with him. We knew it would be difficult but doable if we trained hard. I was getting in better shape every day from doing CrossFit, and to address my biggest weakness, I took a swim class at the Y down the street from the FARA office. Jamie and I also made a pact that we would wait for each other in the transition area to make sure we would both get through it, not worrying about our time. Little did we know that a week before the event, a potent virus would knock out all of the FARA staff--except me!
Although I ended up by myself on race day, I knew I wasn’t alone. Despite being sick, Felicia came out to cheer me on, and the rest of the FARA team sent encouraging texts and stayed in touch with her about my progress. On the course, I thought about all of the amazing people I have met since I started working for FARA. I knew that the temporary physical pain I felt during the race didn’t compare to the struggles someone with FA faces every day. Thinking about the limitless strength and optimism of this community pushed me to keep moving. I was representing Team FARA, and that means you don’t stop till you make it to the finish line!
I’m not sure if I will do another triathlon (at least as an individual), but I know I will continue to do my part as a member of Team FARA until we reach treatments and a cure for FA. Thank you to everyone who supported me…Together, we will cure FA!
- Evelyn Wu