Spinning for Shelby

For the past 5 years, I have participated in the Annual YAS-A-THON fundraiser spin-a-thon for cures for cancer.  I have always done this event in memory of my father who lost his battle to cancer in 1997. All monies raised go to support new cancer therapies and cures through clinical trials and other outlets. It is always an incredibly moving and powerful afternoon.

This year, fresh off the loss of my beloved Shelby to hemangiosarcoma, I made it my personal mission to raise awareness (and funds) to benefit ALL cancer therapies. I am 100% convinced it is modern medical advances in chemotherapies that allowed me the extra 7 months I had with Shelby so this year, I dedicated my three-hour ride to Shelby (and of course my father too). With both their names etched on my arms, I vowed to spin with every ounce of my being.

The entire week leading up to the event was incredibly emotional for me. I knew that my legs would/could handle the endurance of it, I wasn’t sure my heart was strong enough. I have always prided myself on being able to “hold it together” when push comes to shove. But from about Tuesday of last week, I had been in a non-stop tears. Just looking at photos of my beautiful girl rendered me a sobbing mess. Grief is so funny. I felt that it was the first week in April again when I had lost Shelby and had no control over my tears. I longed for a sign from Shelby to tell me/show me that she was OK.

As I headed to the gym yesterday, I put Shelby’s yellow Tripawds bandanna on my arm so that she could ‘ride’ with me. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I prayed for strength.  As I clipped myself into the bike, I felt motivated, confident and strong. I could do this. I would do this.

I was wearing a #tripawds tank top and I noticed the photographer kept trying to get shots of the shirt and Shelby’s scarf on my arm. It made pedal stronger, harder,  faster.

About 1/2 way into the ride, Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” came on. A woman who was riding in front of me turned around and said this is YOUR song. And it was true. I always said to Shelby during our journey, when I found strength  I didn’t know I had, what didn’t kill me was only going to make me stronger. I started to tear up. I felt that lump in the throat. I prayed the sweat running down my neck would make the tears but sadly, the red eyes gave me away. A man on a bike near me gave me a gentle smile and wink, as if to say, it’s going to be OK. I felt the oxygen leaving my lungs (I am a runner, a spinner, a cardio-queen yet I felt that I couldn’t get air into my lungs) but I was absolutely NOT getting off that bike, nor was I going to give up. I looked at my arm and remembered why I was there and I pushed through. Shelby guided me through. She was there with me, on my arm, in my heart, in my soul.

At the end of the event, after three grueling hours on a spin bike, I was soaked through, the bottoms of my feet hurt, I had blisters on my hands from gripping the bike and I felt that I had been hit by a bus. But I will vow to do it again and again until we wipe cancer off the face of the earth.

Tomorrow marks 11 weeks since Shelby left this planet. Almost three months. The pain is just as fresh as it was back in April. I miss her so terribly much. But I am a survivor. I survived this year’s event. And I survive each day I get up. I am #shelbystrong and I know she is with me all the time. She was definitely with me yesterday. Shelby was speedy. She loved to sprint. She loved to climb.  She loved to be part of a community. And yesterday was about all those things. And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words… these are for you my best girl.



































For Shelby
For Shelby















For Daddy
For Daddy















For "Happy Hannah"
For “Happy Hannah”









4.8.14 -  Shelby Lynne R.
4.8.14 – Shelby Lynne R.










She rides with me!
She rides with me!













Author: mom2shelby

Mom to 13 year old Shelby - Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. A rescue dog that was born in New Orleans. Shelby is a spirited, smart and happy little dog who loves to run, play, go to the beach (we live in LA) and ride in the car! She is my best friend and the true love of my life!

18 thoughts on “Spinning for Shelby”

  1. Alison, so proud of you for doing this. Thank you! Thank you! I know there is a cure out there for this dreadful disease, it just needs to be found. Sooner rather than later. Doing these rides, events etc. brings that need to the forefront. It is easy to push it to the back of one’s mind if you have never experienced it and the pain and loss it brings. It had to be so hard to finish, but by finishing you told cancer to go to he&$:! Shelby was right there tucked safely in her corner of your heart and she was so very proud of her Mama. Love from, Lori and Ty

    1. True! So true and it was good to be raising awareness and about canine cancer and that there are therapies that can help canines! This is my new platform and I cannot nor will I ever be stopped! Lots of love to you!

  2. ALISON!, OMD!!!!!!! We are all so OOOOOPS proud of you! I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all k we you could do it! We knew the power of SHELLY STRONG AND ALISON STRONG TOGETHER! And the song…The support of your fellow riders, so perfect!

    I was in tears the whole time reading this, tears of joy, a little sadness, pride…so proud of our Alison! And then I see Hannah ……….sobbing over here! To have you remember her at such an important time, such an emotional and personal time, such a time of contribution……you are such a FORCE FOR GOOD in SOOOOOOO many ways!!

    Standing n ovation M over here Alson!! You and Shelbyville proved the power M of your forever bond yet again! NOTHING CAN SEPARATE YOU TWO!

    You really are a strong strong woman Allison! Yeah, we all crumble and fall but, as the saying goes, we just pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off and move forward! Every single time that you conquer such a seemingly overwhelming challenge, it continues to build your courageous muscle and your strength and muscle! You and Shelby are indeed twin flames! Keep that wonderful fire within you burning Allison, we are all cheering for you!

    Sending you so much love AND non-human applause!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

    1. But of course I rode with Hannah with me! 🙂 I know she and Shelby are best of friends and united together as we are united together here (even though miles and miles of land distances us).

      Thank you for your incredibly kind words … the support of you and all the Tripawds motivates me!

  3. OH, I’m pretty sure the photographer wasn’t trying to take a picture of your “logo”!

    Great pics btw! That Shelbyville is SOOOOOOO darn cute…and so are you!

  4. Good for you, Alison. You had me in tears here, too. You did an incredible job!

    Kathi and Murphy

  5. Alison,
    As I read this I was crying. I knew you could do it. I could just feel all the emotion that you peddled with. I am so totally proud of you as is Shebly & your dad. You did it. No matter how much you couldn’t breathe or crying you did it. Shelby strong is right. You are Alison strong too. You need to give yourself a lot of credit for doing this.
    I also saw Hannah was there too great job for her too. 🙂


    Hugs & love
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  6. What a fantastic way to remember both Shelby and your dad.. and to raise awareness for this awful disease. Way to go Alison! 🙂

    Much love,

    Cody and Fam

  7. Oh boy, did this bring on the tears. We are so proud of you Alison, you did it, not only for Shelby, your dad and Happy Hannah, but every pet and person that cancer has touched! Three hours on a spin bike, my body hurts just thinking about that but you did it!! Awesome…just absolutely awesome!

  8. Wow, Alison, you go girl! I’m teary reading this, imaging how it must have been. There have been many nights on my spin bike or during kickboxing where I, too, tear up. The lump makes it hard to push through! Sometimes I’m knocking cancer out: pow, pow, POW! Other times, I’m rushing with Jackson far away and faster than cancer can keep up: push, pull, push, pull, SPIN! I hear you… What a tribute and an accomplishment, both physically and emotionally. You made us, her, and your dad very proud!
    ~ Katy & Jackson

  9. Shelbyville??? Trying to type Shelbystrng! Kindof like Shelbyville too….sounds like a perfect little village for loving hearts to reside!

    1. I thought you meant “Shelbyville” as a comment about where I live with the photos with the picket fence in the background. Since those photos were taken at my apt outside where Shelby and I used to hang. 🙂 But I like “Shelbyville” …. perfect!

  10. Great work, Alison.

    For Shelby and your Dad….and all those canine, feline and human who are struggling with this awful disease!

    Tuck and I and all the tripawd world salutes you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *