swim: 35:03 1.5 k
Bike: 1:46:50 38 k
Run: 1:02:37 10 k
JENNIFER'S PRE-TRIATHLON MESSAGES:
Date: August 15, 2008
For me, the essence of OurChart is community. And not just the lesbian community or the LGBT community or the women's community or the various labels one might apply to the array of profiles intersecting on this site. It's about a community of concerned human beings, engaged around the rights and issues that affect the dignity, politics, progress and health of our collective human future.
Communities, especially ones so dynamic and passionate as this one here, have the power to effect change -- especially when they gather together around a cause to help others. I've witnessed your combined efforts first hand, when last spring, a generous group of you raised donations for Happy Trails Farm to rescue a Percheron horse from slaughter and, in honor of my love of horses, named her "AlphaBette." Thank you.
On September 1st, I'll be participating in my first Olympic-distance triathlon. Inspired by the three legs of the competition (a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike course and a 10K run), I've selected three charities to raise funds for -- and am calling out to you, the OurChart community -- to join me in supporting these organizations.
I hope you'll take some time to read about the incredible work each charity performs and consider making a donation. Your contributions will be made directly to the organization or organizations of your choice.
And stay tuned, as I'll be checking back with OurChart to provide contribution updates and a post-race report.
PS: Did I mention I'm terrified?
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles-Center For Cancer & Blood Diseases
The Center is one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the nation. Breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancer, many pioneered at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, offer children, teenagers and young adults the most advanced treatment available anywhere. Your donation supports the Center's vital services for children and families, research for cures and new therapies, and training of future scientists and caregivers.
My friend's son, Pablo, has been so well-cared for by this group of amazing physicians. In my mind, the run is for Pablo. I know he'll help me get across the finish line -- he's so much stronger than I'll ever be.
Matthew Shepard Foundation
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created t o honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.
Judy and Dennis Shepard's tireless advocacy of hate crimes legislation, encompassed in the Matthew Shepard Act, is phenomenal. As a supporter of the Foundation, I know I can't rest until Congress passes an inclusive hate crimes bill.
I Live Here Foundation
The I Live Here Foundation is dedicated to telling the stories of silenced and unheard people through a series of books and other media projects about our world. It establishes creative writing programs in areas where it works, building an artistic dialogue between strangers with the belief that art is a means of survival.
The I Live Here Foundation is spearheaded by the extraordinary Mia Kirshner, J.B. MacKinnon, Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge. Its first book, I Live Here, will be published by Pantheon Books in October 2008 and launched in conjunction with a creative20writing program in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Coming in 2009: I Live Here begins its next series on books and launches a creative writing program within a brothel in Burma.
Date: August 29, 2008
I have just a few more days of training before my first Olympic-distance triathlon on September 1st (gulp), and I want to thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of support around the race and my fundraising efforts. Even if you're not able to make a donation, the encouraging comments you've shared here on OurChart are more helpful than you can even imagine.
Training has been, among other things, an extraordinary exercise in time management. Finding time to run, bike and swim between long days on set and spending time with my family is sometimes challenging. For example, we had a photo shoot for the sixth season poster the other day. My call time was 9:00 am and I knew the photo shoot would last all day. I talked my friend Alexandra Hedison (Dylan) into a 7:30 am ocean swim—in the rain—promising her adventure and the feeling of "virtue" after such a chilling endeavor. We had a blast! Just us, the seals, the crabs and the starfish. Yesterday's training was my most intense yet. I was on my bike at the crack of dawn, pedaled for 40k, ran for 8k, hit the gym, ran another 4k and then did some core work. But, I’m taking it day-by-day, buoyed up by the promise that I’ve made to all of you and to these three incredible charities to cross the finish line.
We’ve updated the donation page with tallies to date as shown below and will continue to do so. Thanks to your generous giving, we’re just dollars short of the $5,000 goal for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and well on our way to meeting this mark for the I Live Here Foundation and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. With your continued support, I know we can do it.
If you haven't yet, you can read more here about the work being done by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the I Live Here Foundation, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation and consider making a donation.
I'll see you back here next week to fill you in on contribution totals and follow up on my race experience—I am loathe to call it a race. I will be "racing" only my psyche, and hopefully the only things we as a group will be "conquering" are hate, disease and neglect.
PS: Did I mention I'm terrified?
PPS: Please say a collective prayer that I don't drown. The ocean is somehow just not the same as the pool—who forgot to paint black lines on the ocean floor?
JENNIFER BEALS' POST-TRIATHLON MESSAGE
Date: September 4, 2008
My goodness—what an amazing day.
I wake up at 4:00 am in the complete DARKNESS. Make my way to Second Beach—my iPod blaring a combination of country music, Gwen Stefani and Amy Winehouse to wake me up. The park, the beach are both in complete darkness as I set up my bike, my cleats, my socks, my numerous gels (God bless the makers of GU gels), my running shoes, my running hat, my capris and shirt, my biking jersey, my jacket, my goggles (prescription, if you must know), my swim cap, my towel, my little bucket to get the sand off my feet, and my La Mer face cream (my friends got a good chuckle out of that last relatively useless article). In short, I have more changes than Cher at a Vegas extravaganza—except no Bob Mackie to wriggle in and out of but a wetsuit that would seem glued to my body when it came time to take it off.
Check in, get body marked—the kind woman who engraves my body with the number "207" in Magic Marker asks me if I wanted smiley faces in the "0"s. Sure, why not? A little sense of humor never hurt anybody.
It is now 5:30am. My friend Sandra arrives. I know this is not a terrible hardship for her because she is ALWAYS up at 5:00 am as she is training for a 7-day cycling race in the ALPS. I bow down to Sandra who has been helping me train—she is an endless font of information regarding nutrition, prescription goggles, compact cranks and the mysterious, esoteric uses of PAM Cooking Spray. She is possibly the kindest, most patient person I have ever met, which comes as no surprise because I met her through Rachel Shelley, also one of the kindest, most patient people I have ever met.
The heroic Alexandra Hedison arrives around 7:00 am. Along with Sandra, she walks down to the beach with me. I look out at the buoys in the water—the buoys that indicate the distance of the swim—and I cannot believe how FAR AWAY they seem. We're standing on the beach, along with a couple hundred other people, some of whom must be thinking the same thing (HOLY SHIT THAT'S FAR AWAY!).
I get in the water to "warm up." Yep, the water's cold. The first lap around the buoys and back to the beach is 750m. For the Olympic distance we have to do two laps. The first wave to go out is the Under-40 Men doing the Olympic distance. The horn blows. They're off. And they're fast. Five minutes later, the horn blows and the women doing the Olympic distance dive in. That's me. And you know what? It's Heaven. I have never felt so relaxed during an open water swim. There are pockets in the water that are warm. I actually stay with the pack, rather than lag miles behind, which is a miracle. And I feel relaxed and happy to be in the water with all these other people who are attempting such an amazing feat that will at some point require them to feel pain and to dig deep to overcome that pain.
I complete the first lap without incident. Then, as we are coming along the second lap, I start to get passed by some of the Under-40 Men in the Olympic distance. One man swims over me. And you know what? It's fine. I just think, "That's okay, I know you're in a hurry, you're competitive and that's fine." Then a woman clocks me in the head and I think, "That's okay, you're just in your own trajectory, and maybe a little panicky so it's okay." Just so you know, this is not my normal response when being struck in the water. I don't know what's happened but I feel unbelievable calm. Before I know it the swim is over, and frankly I want more. But onto the bike.
I struggle to get out of the wetsuit—Alex and Sandra there, cheering me along. Get my bike gear on, pause for a quick application of face cream (I am still, after all, an actress) and off I go for an ENDLESS bike ride. I am the slowest cyclist of all time, but I make it around the course. Four loops through Stanley Park. By the time I get out to the course it is already littered with gel packs from other riders—like condom wrappers in the Bois de Boulogne—evidence of a different kind of effort. At the bottom of the hill is a group of people cheering on their friends and family. I see a sign saying, "Go Jennifer." I wonder if it's for me—and then I see the Obama sticker on the upper right corner and I realize it must be for me. And then it hits me—here is a group of well-wishers whom I have never, ever met, cheering me on. I am so moved and so uplifted I cannot even begin to tell you. This is the spirit of the event for me—helping people you have never met—cheering on people whom you may never know. Every time I come around that corner I look forward to hearing their cheers.
The rest of the ride is quite quiet, apart from the sound of tri bikes going by at the speed of light. I take the time to think of Judy Shepard, her love for her son, her continued love of justice and love itself, if that makes sense. She has extended her mothering to all of us—to make the world more conscious, to make the world safer, and perhaps one day, to make the world more loving.
I pull my bike in and get dressed for the "third act"—running hat and running shoes—and head out for the run. I feel confident in my ability to run. The first 5k are tricky. I can't feel my feet, which have yet to recover any kind of meaningful circulation since the swim. I start to cramp a bit but I just ask it to go away and it does. My body can be so accommodating at times. Where the mind goes the body does so often follow.
After the first loop of the run I start to feel more relaxed. The second 5k is really sweet. Not as sweet as Pablo's smile, but sweet. I feel kind of elated. I start thinking of the scene Elizabeth Berkley and I had done two days ago and how brilliant she was.
Pretty soon I can see the finish line—Pablo, let's just bring this on home—I hear someone cheering me on—and I just start sprinting. It is this transcendent convergence of determination, focus and celebration—it is like flying. I cross the finish line and there are the sweet faces of my friends, Elizabeth Berkley, Mia Kirshner, Greg Lauren, Alexandra Hedison, and my beautiful family.
I did not "win." I was not fast. But I succeeded. I succeeded because I was able to keep my mind calm in moments of adversity. I succeeded because, quite simply, I persevered.
I am deeply aware of the fact that this is not simply my accomplishment. No one can accomplish anything completely on their own. On the path there is always someone there who has been a support, whether it is a parent, a teacher, a friend, a family member or a stranger who has inexplicably extended herself/himself. There is always someone. The person who taught you to read, to run, to sing, to dance, to love, to learn—to keep on going. That is a collective effort. Life is a collective effort. And every moment of every day we can be that for one another even if it is simply by sending good wishes someone's way. I thank you deeply for all your good wishes.
Below are the most recent tallies of our fundraising efforts for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the I Live Here Foundation. Thanks to your incredible generosity, we’ve nearly met our fundraising goal of $5,000 for each charity. But we can’t stop here! I encourage everyone to pass this link along to ten friends who might not have been to OurChart or read about the work of these incredible organizations. We'll keep the links available here and continue to update you on total donations.
Report by Gcl:
With over 490 participants, the 7th Annual Vancouver Triathlon took place today, in Ceperley Field – Stanley Park and our very own Jennifer Beals competed on her first Olympic distance triathlon to help raise funds for three different charities: Childrens Hospital Los Angeles-Center For Cancer & Blood Diseases, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, and I Live Here Foundation.
Not quite sure how the swimming portion of the event went down but I was fortunate enough to be a race marshal for both the bike and run courses. Barely recognizable with her glasses and white jacket, Jennifer crosses the bike finish line with me saying “Good job Jennifer!” (thank goodness I still had some sense to say
that to her upon realization that I was less than a feet away from Goddess LOL) surprising her but she was very appreciative of the volunteers nonetheless and said that we’re so nice...heheh...
On to the last part of the race, Jennifer donned on what appears to me as her signature running outfit (which I’ve seen her wear on a couple of occasions) and thought she did this latter part very well because she was done in no time.
A fan was screaming her name and run to the finish line with her from the other side of the fence and the announcer was also commenting on the banner that another fan made to support Jennifer.
On behalf of tibette.com, we’d like to congratulate Jennifer on her successful triathlon and good luck on your future races!
Report by HeartOfArtemis:
JB's Winged Victory at the Vancouver Triathlon
At 6:30 a.m. Monday morning September 1, I left my hotel near Stanley Park with my pug Po on a leash, four poster board signs under one arm and a cup of Starbucks coffee in a thermos. I walked along the causeway on English Bay about a mile to the site of the Triathlon. It was 47 degrees F according to my new IPHONE but felt colder. Dawn was just breaking and I could see the outline of hundreds of people in wetsuits milling around at Second Beach where the swimming portion of the Triathlon would begin at 7:05 a.m. Olympic men in green caps first, followed by Olympic women in red caps. I spotted Jennifer with Alexandra Hedison and a friend but couldn't get a very good picture on my IPHONE.
I had spent the evening before making signs to cheer JB on. Because I had read so much hope and anxiety for JB on the message boards the week before the race from fans all over the world, I decided to try to give them voice. My first sign, that I held up for JB as she exited the water after her first lap said GO JENNIFER/ We (Heart) You/ --Tibette Nation. She had a big grin on her face and plunged back in the water for her final lap.
Po and I moved on to the north side of the transition zone (where the bike racks were located) and staked out a spot just at the place where the riders entered the street winding its way around Stanley Park.
I held up a small sign as she passed by the that said GO JENNIFER / The Wind is at Your Back / You Make Us Proud /--Tibetters Everywhere. I yelled GO JENNI FER at the top of my lungs and she gave us a thumbs up. She looked great in her bike outfit!
I had driven the route the day before and thought it was long and very hilly. JB would need to make 4 laps around. We stayed until JB came flying down the hill at the end of her first lap and held up our large sign with an " Obama 08 " bumper sticker in the upper right hand corner. The sign read " GO JENNIFER GO! / We love you and LH / --.Tibette Nation." By now other fans and friends had showed up and we all yelled GO JENNIFER GO.
We got a big grin from the goddess.
Po and I moved on to the south side of the transition zone near where the runners had to go under an underpass. I leaned the large sign against the wall and pulled out my last small sign "JENNIFER/ You Go Girl!/ We (heart) You / --Your Fans All Over the World. "It was warmer now but the grass still had the morning dew
so I took off my parka to sit on. Po promptly sat on my lap with muddy paws and then knocked my open thermos of coffee over my pantleg. After about a half hour JB cam e out of the transition shute and did a little dance to the cheers of her friends and fans. She slowed down as she started to pass us and go through the underpass. She pointed both index fingers at me and said "God bless YOU!" Fortunately I was already sitting down or I might have keeled over. She had two 5 K laps to run before the race was over.
I went over to the adjacent playground and collected my friend Maxine and her 4 year old daughter Morgan. We headed over to the finish line and squeezed into a great spot along the security fence next to the medals table. . When we spotted JB nearing the finish line she started to SPRINT! I got a picture of her as she came home, looking just radiant. She was greeted by Alexandra Hedison, Mia Kirshner, and Elizabeth Berkley
I asked 4 year old Morgan if she would like to give JB the small sign that said '"JENNIFER / You Go Girl! / We (heart) You./ --Your Fans from around the World." Maxine and Morgan moved forward with the sign and Jennifer immediately knelt down with a banana in her left hand and hugged Morgan. Maxine got a great picture of them.
I hung back about ten feet being muddy and coffee-stained. Jennifer looked up and saw me--the STALKER--and said come here. She gave me a hug and I started to say I drove up from Olympia, Washington where the silent retreat you escaped from in Season 3 was located. My voice failed after Olympia and the picture Maxine took shows me staring at JB's "medal" and an absolutely ravishing Jennifer. It is now my screensaver!
It was a great day for a whole lot of reasons. Not the least of which is that it was a true "Winged Victory" for one of the world's greatest actresses and humanitarians.