The Pelaton

Written by Travis and Amy Johnon

Google defines a pelaton as a group of riders in a cycling race.  That is a simple definition, but it means so much more.  A pelaton enables a rider to go further, go faster, and lean into the efforts of those around them.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer over 6 years ago.  Sometimes when you are fighting something so terrifying for so long, you have to do something crazy to prove you still have life.  You have to do something that a stage 4 cancer survivor should not be able to do.  So this year I chose to do the 100 mile Tour De Apple Incredible Gala Century.  When I told my friends, they first said I was crazy.  They then said that they were in.  On Monday, we completed the 100 miler.  Granted we rolled in after the crowd had left, but we finished!

My friends rolled with me the entire way.  We kept our pack together on the long flats, prodding each other forward.  We joked and kept it light hearted to keep our minds off our sore muscles.  When we climbed the mountains, my friends would circle back and ride with me to the top. When I hit the wall on the back side of Pinnacle Mountain, they patiently encouraged me to keep going. I learned to trust their patience, ride my race, and concentrate only on the hill I was on.  As we approached the finish line, my friends pushed me to the front of the pelaton and allowed me to cross the finish line first with the proud faces of our families cheering us on and tears of joy flowing down our faces.

When one fights cancer for 6 and a half years, you often get scary news.  Each time God has showed us new mercies, we have leaned into each other and our friends and we take each mountain by concentrating on the hill we are on.  Today I am so thankful, for my rock solid loving wife and kids and for my friends and family who have been my faithful pelaton for this entire race.  Love you guys.

Update from Amy: Our next hill right now, Travis in for treatment with radiation surgery (CyberKnife).  He will be strapped down for 2 hours while hundreds of small beams radiate and kill several new lesions.  While it is very hard to hear there are new lesions, we are thankful for this technology that allows us to kill the cancer.  

After waiting a few weeks for the radiation treatment to take effect, and we will be able to start a new immunotherapy trial. We are hopeful, somewhat because of this new trial, but mostly because God has sustained us this far.  This next hill seems big.  Pray with us for success with the radiation and the trial.  Pray for endurance.  Pray we can keep our mind steadfast on our beloved Lord and that he will keep us in perfect peace.

We  love you,
Travis and Amy