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Head Coach Shamsul is biking the pan-mass challenge

Updated: Feb 16

Thanks to all for the attention and support that y'all have paid to ICW over the years. Truly, it has allowed me to wake up, jump out of bed with a smile and a spring in my step and go to a job that I love. Ok, maybe not exactly that as I am out of bed at 4:30 am and at work by 5:35 am and the coffee doesn't kick in until 6:15, so it is scientifically impossible for there to be either a smile or a spring in or about my person. It's just science. Though the gratitude is genuine.

Man rolling ball on his chest

This year has been an interesting one for me. In June I managed to take 3rd in my age/weight class at The US Strongman Nationals after 20 years of trying to place at a national competition. But more substantially, and the reason why I'm writing, in August my good friend Mario succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the tender age of 51. So, I'm pivoting to ride 160 miles of the Pan-Mass Challenge for the Dana-Farber Institute in support of Team Mario.

Mario was a stalwart of the Boston punk and metal scene, a brewer of dangerous beers and meads, a smoker of fine meats, as well as doing something with computers at IBM. I met Mario through his brother Paul at a previous training job. So, Team Mario will be half chain-smoking metalheads and punk rockers, and half chubbier-than-we

muscular person on a bike

-should-be-but-thats-ok-cuz-we're-in-a-bulking-phase meatheads. A certain board member then shamed me into riding the 160 miles in one day vs doing it in two, I won't name names as I would hate for people to think less of him. Suffice to say that mean things were said about my parentage and dispersions were cast on my character. Since I am weak-willed and easily influenced I am going to ride to Provincetown from Wellesley in one go. Going from a sport where, on a good day in June, my work was done in 3 minutes total across 5 events, to one where I will strive to ride for 10 to 14 hours straight, should prove to be a fine mess.

I'm asking for a donation, with 100% of the funds going to Dana-Farber. You can do so at my Pan-Mass Donations page. I have already received much assistance in the form of advice from the cardio athletes amongst ICW’s clients. Useful things such as, "sit there and don't stop pedaling, it's soo easy" and "once you've gone 20 miles, just do that 8 more times'' and "be less pathetic." Truly helpful in the dark times on the bike. In lieu of such sage words, as helpful as they are, please donate.

In my tenure as a trainer I have lost 3 clients to cancer, I've trained a family whose infant son fought and survived a kidney adjacent malignant tumor, another friend is living with prostate cancer, and my father has been scrapping with a GIST tumor and its descendants since 2016. In all cases, these individuals have been cared for and comforted by nurses, doctors and caregivers at hospitals, clinics and hospices. I would love to be able to aid those that have cared for my people.

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