Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Karen Grouten, a medical technologist who proved to her grandson that grandmas can in fact ride bikes!
Here’s what she had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Making my way 100 miles around Lake Tahoe on America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe, NV. It was my fourth time doing the race, and my fourth time improving my time. (I have completed six century rides overall.) I have come to the conclusion that I was not blessed with great speed, agility or grace in this human body, but I can just keep going and going and going….
How did you achieve it?
Training. My bike season starts in March — no small feat since we live in the Northeast — and I follow a training program that takes me from riding 25 miles to riding 80 over the course of 10 weeks or so. We also try to follow routes that will be similar to the event course.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I belong to a gym and work on core and upper body strength over the winter, I take the stairs at work, and ride up hill (both ways). I also try to eat well and make time for meditation, relaxation, and an occasional massage.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
We are human beings, not human doings. Take time to just be.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
Most of the century rides I do are for charity — I ride with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training which has a fundraising requirement. I’ve also done a couple of rides for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which was founded by Paul Newman as a camp for children with serious illnesses. Charity Miles allows me to train for these rides and at the same time raise some money, and hopefully some awareness, for the other charities that take part. (I am very partial to the Michael J Foxx Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.) With Charity Miles, every mile can count towards helping people.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise for myself, to feel good, and for the pure enjoyment of riding my bike. Why? To try and make a little bit of a difference in someone’s life. Be it for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, money for research, money to provide patient assistance, for the Camp, for Wounded Warrior, just maybe one person’s life will be a little better or a little easier because I got off the couch and moved.