RSS
Print This Post Print This Post

Care 2 Tri And Greg Simony, The Journey

feature-care-2-tri

Care 2 Tri

Greg Simony

By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

Photography by Alan Rodriguez, AlanRphoto.com

 

“You don’t fly up a hill. You struggle slowly and painfully up a hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top…”
~Lance Armstrong

As a two-pack a day smoker and heavy drinker, Greg Simony knew he wasn’t living up to his full potential. A former collegiate athlete, he was competitive, driven. But he had lost his footing on the path to success, allowing addiction to cloud his vision and muddle his focus. A sobering experience changed all that and put him back on course. And as his addictive nature compelled him to pursue new highs, Greg rediscovered the joys of pushing his physical limits. He became a triathlete, challenging himself with a grueling regiment that reshaped his body and mind. Then, in his quest to explore his true abilities, he identified an exciting opportunity. “I wanted to do something bigger than myself,” he reflects. “I’ve always had an innate drive to motivate others, and realized I could to so in a really unique way.”

At a young age, Greg knew his mission was to help others. He just had to help himself, first. Once he was on his own path to wellness, he found a way to bring others along. Not everyone has the physical ability to turn their lives around, to sweat and struggle through the rigors of a triathlon. But Greg had energy and willpower to spare. He’d find a teammate, a partner who would have the opportunity to cross a finish line with him and to revel in the glory of the victory. To date over 50 disadvantaged individuals have raced with Greg and the number continues to climb.

“We all have disabilities,” asserts Greg. “It just so happens that some individuals’ are more apparent.” Such was the case with his first teammate, wheelchair-bound Nadia McKinnon. The duo trained for three months, Greg pushing Nadia in a special stroller. Her verbal communication was limited, but Nadia managed to get her point across from their first meeting. “I didn’t know if she liked me, if she wanted to be out there,” Greg recalls. “But when her mom tried to take her out of the jogger, she bit her. That’s when we realized we were on to something.” In May 2009 Nadia and Greg completed the 10K portion of the Tri-Miami, and he like his teammate, was hooked.

“This is my gift, my calling,” remarks Greg. “I know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

There is a huge outpouring of people wanting to race with Care 2 Tri and managing the influx is challenging, but Greg is unwavering in his commitment.  Each teammate, each race, he says, is a new and rewarding experience. “I’ve never experienced an event where my teammate was unhappy,” he says. “Most of the time, they become incredibly peaceful.  It’s amazing.” In addition to teaming with Nadia for subsequent races, Greg has also competed with a paralyzed veteran, a brain trauma victim and an individual living with autism. What the world at large may consider impairments, he notes, are simply labels. “I don’t believe in labels,” he adds. “They give way to excuses.” 

Three years after completing his first team event, Greg founded Care 2 Tri. The non-profit organization reflects its leader’s lofty aspirations, with a current goal of completing 50 triathlons in 50 states in 50 days. Until then, Care 2 Tri is focused on smaller victories which include acquiring the equipment needed to safely partner teammates in swimming and biking portions of the races.

Greg’s underlying mission is simply to inspire others to pursue their own passions. “I want people to know, to believe, that they can change their own lives and make a difference in the lives of others,” he asserts. “I’m a voice for people who aren’t always heard, but what I do isn’t for everyone.” His message: “Take your passion and go beyond yourself. Anything is possible if you believe.”
 
Greg is penning a book about his journey, and looks forward to sharing his inspiring stories as a motivational speaker. He continues to train and compete with area teammates, changing lives with each event.

Care 2 Tri
309 39th Street
Bradenton, FL 34208
(941) 587.6526
care2tri@gmail.com
www.care2tri.org

Copyright © 2012 REAL Magazine
Links to this article are encouraged

Photography used under license from Alan Rodriguez, AlanRphoto.com
Photography Copyright © 2012 Alan Rodriguez, AlanRphoto.com

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply


Featured Properties

Ads

REAL HAPPENINGS

November 15-16 Brundibár

November 15-16 Brundibár

Sarasota Youth Opera Presents Historic Children’s Opera. Sarasota Youth Opera presents a reviva[...]
November 11, 2019 Veterans Day

November 11, 2019 Veterans Day

Tomb Of The Unknowns And Veterans Day. Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center aro[...]
Michael Saunders & Company Adds New Agent

Michael Saunders & Company Adds New Agent

Brian Wood Joins Michael Saunders & Company. Michael Saunders & Company announced that Brian Woo[...]
Florida Studio Theatre Receives $45,000 Grant

Florida Studio Theatre Receives $45,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. Florida Studio Theatre was awar[...]
November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

Ringling Underground. Enjoy live music, and art in the Museum of Art Courtyard 8:00pm -11:00pm. [...]
Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcement

User After Free Vulnerability - Google Chrome. Google has issued an update to its Chrome browser[...]
Sarasota Orchestra Receives $50,000 Grant

Sarasota Orchestra Receives $50,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. The Sarasota Orchestra was awar[...]
November 3, 2019 Daylight Savings Time

November 3, 2019 Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time Can Be Dangerous! Did you set your clocks back? At 5pm virtually everyone [...]
November 8-10, 2019 Sarasota MOD

November 8-10, 2019 Sarasota MOD

Sarasota Architectural Foundation's MOD Weekend Returns. Mark your calendars for November 8-10,[...]
October 31, 2019 Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2019 Happy Halloween!

A Little Halloween History. 2,000 years ago the Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st,[...]
November 3, 2019 Garden Music Series

November 3, 2019 Garden Music Series

Shane Chalke’s Jazz Quartet At Selby Gardens. The Garden Music Series at Marie Selby Botanical G[...]
November 10, 2019 Bowls Of Hope

November 10, 2019 Bowls Of Hope

Soup's ON! Don't Let It Get Cold! All Faith Food Bank's Bowls of Hope returns once again Novembe[...]
The Ringling Receives $50,000 Grant

The Ringling Receives $50,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. The John and Mable Ringling Mus[...]
October 25, 2019 Joseph's Coat

October 25, 2019 Joseph's Coat

The Ringling Presents Joseph's Coat. Joseph’s Coat Skyspace by James Turrell is a triumph of tec[...]
Sarasota Opera Receives $50,000 Grant

Sarasota Opera Receives $50,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. Sarasota Opera was awarded a $5[...]
October 23, 2019 Slap Your Annoying Co-Worker Day

October 23, 2019 Slap Your Annoying Co-Worker Day

Smack Em And Let Them Know You Care! Your co-worker in the next cube is at it again — yakking it[...]
November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

Ringling Underground Returns. Enjoy live music, and art in the Museum of Art Courtyard 8:00pm -1[...]
November 17, 2019 - February 2, 2020 Zodiac LEGO

November 17, 2019 - February 2, 2020 Zodiac LEGO

The Ringling To Feature LEGO Exhibit. Zodiac LEGO (2018) is a series of individual works that is[...]
DoorDash Suffers Data Breach

DoorDash Suffers Data Breach

If You Are A DoorDash User Were You Compromised? DoorDash suffered a data breach that affected a[...]
October 1, 2019 Fiction Writers Meeting

October 1, 2019 Fiction Writers Meeting

Author Pat McKanic presents “Creating a Mystery". “Creating a Mystery” is a fun, funny and inter[...]
Translate »