Make it Happen Monday: Pay it Forward


We’ve all heard the phrase, “Pay it Forward”…but what we might not realize is just how big of an impact it can have on someone’s life.  Today, we share the story of two cyclists who had their lives changed forever and are so grateful that they continue to Pay it Forward.

I’ve been thinking of putting up a Make it Happen Monday post on this subject for a while, but it wasn’t until I interacted with a couple of cycling friends on Twitter when I realized how this one was going to come together.  It all started by me asking my twitter followers, “What’s Right?“.  What I received back from @MomCycFan and @twittyboyd, left me totally inspired.

Julie’s (@MomCycFan) Story:

One year ago this morning (January 11), I was hooking my husband up to a dialysis treatment. We were tired, weary, not wanting to get out of bed and much less leave the house.  We had to go face the nephrologist that afternoon and hear more bad news as always.  We were dragging and life was most definitely not good except we were alive and our kids were healthy.  At 4:45 pm while I was making dinner the phone rang.  In two minutes our lives turned upside down for the better.

A parent or family member of a 18-year-old child had made the selfless choice to donate their loved one’s organs in death. We drove 300 miles to Stanford and at 7 am January 12th, 2011 my husband was given the gift of life. He received a new kidney and pancreas from the 18-year-old. He was no longer dependent on dialysis and insulin to live.

How can you receive such a selfless gift and not be changed? Now we live everyday trying to Pay It Forward and honor the life that saved a life.

Marty’s (@twittyboyd) Story:

August 2009,  new to twitter and at home recuperating from cancer-preventive surgery, I got a funny tweet from a stranger saying he was my cousin and loved my twitter handle. We shared the same last name. He discovered me thru comments on a @lancearmstrong picture. 

Cancer connected us (architectural background, cycling and soccer coaching too!).  His father has cancer and at the time I was lucky to prevent the disease, but my mother in law was fighting lung cancer.  It had been a difficult two-year span for my family and topping it off with other life issues that come with grown children and step- families. My husband and I were so fragile.  I needed to be strong to keep our family together. 

Talking to this stranger, I will call my guardian angel, gave me back my strength and perspective needed to tackle the challenges ahead. 

My mother in law lost her battle with cancer, but through my conversations with this stranger, I was able to help my husband and kids through the grieving process, not to mention mine.

I feel so grateful that I take advantage of every opportunity I get to Pay It Forward:

  • Letting that person in the checkout line behind me with fewer items go in front of me; 
  • Helping a fellow cyclist stranded on the road; 
  • Kind words being the first priority no matter how bad the situation is;  
  • Paying for a stranger’s coffee behind me in the drive thru; 
  • Thinking before I speak;
  • Encouraging and motivating others………

Those are few of the things I practice now without hesitation.

I’ve been blessed by a guardian angel I consider now a best friend.  He may say he doesn’t know how he helped, but that is what makes it even more special. He is not aware of his gift.  He is an angel.

Do you have a story of how someone changed your life for the better, or one in which your acts forever changed the lives of someone?  Please share.

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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to

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