‘Not another hill!’
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‘Not another hill!’

Jewish Standard riders Beth Chananie, Jamie Janoff, and Jerry Szubin are ready to go; Beth’s husband, Rob Chananie, stands behind to cheer them on.
Jewish Standard riders Beth Chananie, Jamie Janoff, and Jerry Szubin are ready to go; Beth’s husband, Rob Chananie, stands behind to cheer them on.

FIRST PERSON

It’s nearly a week after the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey’s Wheels for Meals Bikeathon — and I lived to tell the story.

I made it comfortably through the first half unscathed, but toward mile 19 of the 25-mile course, I could hear Roseanne Roseannadanna saying … I FELT LIKE I WAS GONNA DIE.

Not another hill!

Biking through these Bergen County elevations with temperatures of 90 plus degrees is something you might want to experience one day. Or maybe not.

It’s a mental game, where you’re telling yourself there is no room for failure. You pedal as fast as you can, and it’s not fast enough.

At mile 19 I look down and have a conversation with my legs. Ever talk to your legs? How is it possible they can function under such heat and stress? Yes, the body is truly a wondrous machine.

I made it up those last hills, but toward the end lots of people passed me. I wondered how they could climb so fast. I wanted to be them and wondered if that ever was possible.

They made it! Jerry watches as Jamie “rehydrates” after the race.
They made it! Jerry watches as Jamie “rehydrates” after the race.

I’m here today to say I will make that happen.

So, yes, I finished the 25-mile trek and marvel at the people who took part in the 45-mile course.

My sister, Beth Chananie, and our production manager, Jerry Szubin, represented Team Jewish Standard. Beth now has a renewed interest in biking and health and completed her course. On to bigger and longer treks. One day at a time.

Jerry, on the other hand, is an accomplished cyclist. We work together, and he is a regular source of inspiration to me. When he wraps his head around something, there is no turning back.

Many of people have asked me about our undertaking. Most of them want to know what it was like to leave my comfort zone and push myself to the limit.

I tell them that it’s great to feel alive, and that they should make tomorrow the day they feel inspired to be different. To try something they didn’t think they could do. To learn more about who they really are and how much they really can do.

For now, contribute online to JFCS and make its bikeathon an even greater success. In turn, the people they help can look forward to getting their lives in order and experience their dreams. Just go to www.ridetofighthunger.com.

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