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

Pantone Announces Color Of The Year

Pantone Announces Color Of The Year

Living Coral Is It For 2019. The official selection for the coming year is Living Coral, or spec[...]
December 7, 1941 Day Of Infamy

December 7, 1941 Day Of Infamy

Remember Pearl Harbor. The Day of Infamy that launched the epic conflict with Japan took place a[...]
Tow To Go Celebrates 20 Years

Tow To Go Celebrates 20 Years

Every 49 Minutes A Drunk Driver Kills Someone In The U.S. In 1998, John Saputo - CEO and Preside[...]
December 6, 2018 Mellon Grant Arts Events

December 6, 2018 Mellon Grant Arts Events

New College Announces December Mellon Grant Arts Events. Dance, music, choreography, Asian film[...]
2018 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival OFFICIAL Wrap Up

2018 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival OFFICIAL Wrap Up

Suncoast Charities For Children Thanks Sarasota Board Of County Commissioners. Suncoast Charitie[...]
December 7, 2018 Jazz At Two

December 7, 2018 Jazz At Two

Greg Nielsen and Friends Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two at[...]
November 22, 2018 Some Thanksgiving Fun

November 22, 2018 Some Thanksgiving Fun

The Directions Say To Have The Bird Chill In The Sink For A Few Hours... Happy Thanksgiving[...]
November 22, 2018 Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018 Happy Thanksgiving

Gather With Friends And Loved Ones To Give Thanks For Life's Blessings. The Pilgrims made seven [...]
November 30, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 30, 2018 Jazz At Two

Skip Conkling and Dixie Mix Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two[...]
November 23, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 23, 2018 Jazz At Two

Billy Marcus Trio Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two at Unitar[...]
November 19, 2018 Ringling By the Bay

November 19, 2018 Ringling By the Bay

Ringling By the Bay Features Kettle Of Fish. Join The Ringling at Bolger Campiello on Sarasota [...]
November 11, 2018 Veterans Day

November 11, 2018 Veterans Day

Tomb Of The Unknowns And Veterans Day. Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center aro[...]
243rd Anniversary Of The United States Marines

243rd Anniversary Of The United States Marines

All Men Are Created Equal Then Some Become Marines. The official birthday of the United States M[...]
November 16, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 16, 2018 Jazz At Two

Valerie Gillespie Ensemble Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two [...]
Third Annual Women’s Sports Museum Gala

Third Annual Women’s Sports Museum Gala

Gala Hits A Homerun For Women’s Sports Museum. More than 200 guests attended the 3rd Annual Wom[...]
November 9, 2018 City Of North Port Real Estate Summit

November 9, 2018 City Of North Port Real Estate Summit

The City Of North Port Hosts Third Annual Real Estate Summit. On Friday, November 9, 2018, from [...]
November 30, 2018 Active Shooter Presentation

November 30, 2018 Active Shooter Presentation

Skills To Enhance Your Survival In An Active Shooter Incident. The Manatee Sheriff's Office is o[...]
December 31, 2018 Illumination New Year's Eve Party - Call For Restaurants And Sponsors

December 31, 2018 Illumination New Year's Eve Party - Call For Restaurants And Sponsors

Promote Your Restaurant Or Business At Sarasota's Premier New Year's Eve Event - Illumination. N[...]
November 14, 2018 Fall Trolley And Pub Crawl

November 14, 2018 Fall Trolley And Pub Crawl

Ride The Jazz Trolley While You Pub Crawl. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota for this season's annu[...]
Caldwell Trust Company Announces Promotion

Caldwell Trust Company Announces Promotion

Kim Pettit Now Operations Specialist. Caldwell Trust Company announced the promotion of Kim Pet[...]
Translate »