One of the things that makes the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride so incredibly special is our community of riders. Some are cancer survivors, some are loved ones and caregivers and all of them are dedicated to the mission. We sat down with rider and breast cancer kicker, Jo McIntosh, to ask her why she takes part in the Mamma Jamma Ride.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m fortunate to work at the same place before and after breast cancer diagnosis. I work at Concordia University Texas as full-time faculty in the Department of English.
My children are stellar people, and my husband is my best friend. Both my family and my university have given me unwavering support throughout my cancer journey.
Why do you ride?
Since my breast cancer diagnosis, surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, I have long-term nerve damage from surgeries, as well as constantly battling joint pain and fatigue that I never dealt with as an active person prior to cancer. Capital of Texas Team Survivor and Texas Mamma Jamma Ride help me overcome debilitating pain, depression, and anxiety that can lead to isolation and inactivity. My physical pain post-surgeries and chemo is manageable because I have both community and activity through the ride and year-round support leading to the ride.
How do you prepare for the ride?
My training routine is to not ride for long periods of time and then get back into good habits as the training rides officially kick off each year! That’s just the truth! Maintaining a family, full-time academia, and all of the doctor appointments and physical therapy post-cancer makes time for exercise limited. That’s why I count on Mamma Jamma to keep me active each year.
Any rituals before or after the ride?
Before the ride, my husband and daughter and I make sure all of our gear is ready, and joke about taking on the Tour de France next! After the ride, we eat and drink all of the wonderful food at the venue in Martindale, listen to music, and chat with people.
What stands out to you personally about Texas Mamma Jamma Ride?
The BCRC (Breast Cancer Research Center) guided us through the first year, along with Wonders and Worries, and Capital of Texas Team Survivor. They helped move us back out into the world through support and training. Without these three ride beneficiaries, I'm not sure how my journey would have turned out.
What is one thing you'd say to convince a friend or family member to join you in the ride?
The people at the rides and the beneficiaries of this event saved the integrity of my family. Please, just register and support the ride. I will personally commit to show up and begin riding with you: one mile, two miles, then three and so on until we can make that first ride together.