As I get older (and maybe a touch wiser), I realize that what inspired me in my younger days is not the same as what inspires me today. I remember the 1981 49ers having a phenomenal season and winning the game against the Cowboys where Dwight Clark caught the winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana. The 49ers then went on to win the Super Bowl. And, I remember the “Miracle on Ice” when the US team beat the USSR and go on to win the Gold Medal.

Today, I realize that overcoming life’s challenges is more inspirational than sporting accomplishments. While I still enjoy my favorite teams doing well, I find those who take what life throws at them and then keep going to be truly inspirational. Two members in our club are examples of inspirational character that stand out to me.

Debbie Vogel

Debbie joined Cycle Folsom last year and has been a regular rider since. She is outgoing and always has a smile and positive outlook. What you may not know is Debbie was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in November 2013. While battling cancer, she also filed for divorce. She refers to this as “I got rid of two cancers in 2014”. Debbie joined Cycle Folsom in April 2015, starting with the Gruppetto training series. I remember the Gruppetto ride where I first met Debbie and she was wearing sneakers while the bike had SPD pedals. She is also a sponge for cycling knowledge to improve as quickly as possible. That determination left an impression. Debbie has since replaced her old bike and has pedals and shoes that match one another. Debbie’s own words sum up why I think she is an inspiration – “the cycling club and its ride leaders, through their support and leadership, helped me to change my identity from cancer patient to an athlete.”