Life Time instructor Jamie has simple advice for the students in her cycle classes: "You have one option: It's not to give up, it's not to give in, but it's to give everything you've got."
That mantra has pushed Jamie through thousands of hours of riding, including pedaling for a cause as part of the annual Ride for a Reason benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Last year, Jamie's Life Time location was a top fundraiser for the indoor cycling event.
This year, the motivational mantra has taken on new meaning for the mom of two. In February 2018, her 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right leg. Bridget is being treated at St. Jude, benefitting from the charity she and Jamie supported as fundraisers.
"The worst day of my life was sitting down as Bridget lay on the couch recovering from her biopsy, telling her that when we thought we might be looking for a bone infection that unfortunately they found cancer," Jamie said. "And I'll never forget the look on her face when she looked at me and said, 'No, Mommy, no.'"
Jamie's Life Time family has come through strong with support. The mirrors at her gym are emblazoned with messages of encouragement for the talkative little girl who was a regular on stage at her mom's cycle classes.
It's beyond words. I can't even explain how much Ride for a Reason and St. Jude mean to myself and my family at this moment.
More than 7,200 people and 1,000 teams participated in the third annual Ride for a Reason on March 3, surpassing a goal of $1 million. Ride for a Reason is a four-hour cycling relay benefits St. Jude and the Life Time Foundation, which promotes healthy food in schools.
"Ride for a Reason is a fun, lively event. A lot of our locations have DJs and music and food and just a great time," Jamie said. "But really in the end, Ride for a Reason is just that — a reason to help children with cancer, and their families, so that they can get better through the journey and not worry about the medical bills and the cost of living and they can worry about their children."
As a patient mom at St. Jude, Jamie encourages cyclists to find motivation in the children who are working as hard as they can to beat cancer.
And she'll be riding in spirit with her cycling family this year.