Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 is a BIG YEAR for me!!!

I turned 50 and completed my 3rd Boston Marathon.  It's been a great winter and spring.  As many people know, I've signed up to do my first full 140.6 Ironman next October in Cambridge, MD.  One of the things that needed to happen prior to my attempt, was a change in bike.  The one I had been using since 2009 was simply too heavy and inefficient.  

During the summer I reached out to a number of bike manufacturers about helping me with a frame design in order to help achieve this lofty goal.  SEVEN CYCLES located here in MA, contacted me in less than an hour after my tweet went out.  After lots of measurements, phone calls, and emails, they have designed and built me an amazing machine.  It's my version of the AXIOM SL.  The ANVIL was then finished off by Dan and his crew at SALEM CYCLE here in town.  I have put quite a few miles on it, mostly on the trainer, hoping for better weather in the very near future.  What I do want to share with you now, is some information about the special person who reached out to me in the fall, to help with the purchase of this bike.

Debby and I had been facebook friends since April of 2015.  It was either just before or after the Boston Marathon that year.  She messaged me in late September to explain that her niece Cassie also has the same type of dwarfism we have.  In fact, Cassie and Sue were friends through LPA back when they were teens.  Debby started to ask questions about the bike I was having designed.  Her step-son Jason is an avid triathlete and in fact was heading to race in Kona in early October and Debby and her husband were traveling there to watch him race.  Debby had mentioned to Jason about the bike and he had expressed to her his belief that SEVEN was a great choice in terms of a company that is known world-wide for making some amazing and unique bikes.  In fact their motto is, "We make one bike, YOURS."

Now I have to admit that Debby was very forward when we first spoke and asked if both her and her husband could help with the purchase of the bike.  I was immediately FLOORED with the offer from this "stranger" and let know I was looking into getting some fund-raising done.   I was excited to get the ball rolling so quickly from someone I didn't know.  Debby was again very direct (WHICH I LOVE!) and asked how much the bike would cost.  When I told her the cost of the frame and then estimates for the components, Debby simply said, "We will cover it."

This totally floored me and my initial response was thanks, but I truly felt I could not accept this self-less offer of assistance.  And then Debby wrote:

"Because we love to help people achieve their goals. We love people who defy the odds and the naysayers. I know you aren't comfortable when people say you are inspiring... But you are. I follow a young woman on Instagram who lives in Australia who had a little boy with achondroplasia 2 years ago who was so afraid for his future and I keep telling her about Cassie and her beautiful family and tell her about you and what a warrior you are and that her son will be fine and have a great life. Your story and my nieces story are powerful and hopeful. Lots of people need those right now. We want to see you reach your goal. And you are friends with my favorite and incredible niece and her fabulous family!!!!! We want you to continue to "Be the hammer!!" With a good bike!"

I took some time and even called a good friend, Manny to talk about this. Through that conversation and again after chatting with Debby on the phone I think they both helped me realize that the bike is not really a gift FOR ME. The bike will be a tool to help me achieve this goal I have. But I truly feel the message is not that John Young is an Ironman (hopefully I will be), but that anyone can do what they want, dream as big as they want, and prove all the naysayers wrong. That's what this bike will help do and thanks to Debby and her husband and so many others who have helped as well in other ways, I am one step closer to that goal.

I've told Debby this numerous times, but again, thank you from the BOTTOM OF MY HEART.



  1. Hi John, I was watching the videos of IM Maryland because a friend was racing there, and I saw you crossing the finish line, then I found your, congratulations! Keep posting in the blog your following races.

  2. Hi John, I was watching the videos of IM Maryland because a friend of mine was racing there, and I saw you crossing the finish line, then I found your blog. So, just wanted to say congratulations! Keep posting your following races on the blog.