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Cycling For A Cause: Team Fatty Lives Strong For Susan

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Team Fatty has to be the best name in history for a cycling group. It's that kind of recreational sporting humor that keeps people motivated to reach their goals and have a great time along the way.

I learned about Team Fatty at the LiveStrong Challenge last week in Seattle. I was there teaching yoga to the athletes and participants through Rodale and Nissan's Master the Shift program. I also struggled through the 5K to get some street cred with the runners and cyclists and show my support for LiveStrong.

Team Fatty was the team that raised the most money for the LiveStrong Challenge and Lance Armstrong Foundation. Co-Captain Steve Peterson raised $41K individually, and the team raised $144K together. They are a loud and vibrant group that set out to kick cancer's butt.

Most of the team members were in killer shape, and they didn't seem like stoners either. So what's the deal with Fatty? Founder of Team Fatty Elden Nelson, better known as "Fatty" to his friends, followers, and fellow cyclists, isn't overweight. He actually is pretty ripped and has a ton of energy and a huge dose of humor. He wasn't able to ride the LiveStrong Seattle because he was at home with his wife Susan, who is battling metastatic cancer.

Elden has been into biking for the last dozen years or so. Along the way he noticed he was loving eating too much and was gaining weight. He says in his blog he had to walk up hills he once rode easily. He even noticed his knees pushing into his gut while peddling. When his friends nicknamed him "Fatty" he decided he needed to lose the weight so he started a blog, Fat Cyclist, as an unexplored diet tactic: humiliation.

Fatty vowed to proclaim his weight on a daily basis, no matter how bad he was doing. He also wrote stories about rides, bike related stuff, and lately his wife Susan's fight with cancer. Fat Cyclist developed into Team Fatty, a group of passionate cyclists that ride to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Huntsman Cancer Institute, two organizations that Fatty mentions "have helped us immeasurably in our fight against cancer."

The stories of struggle and survival that were told at LiveStrong Seattle were powerful, passionate and inspiring. The LiveStrong Challenge and Lance Armstrong Foundation are teaming with feisty supporters and survivors that are full of life, and fighting cancer with the gloves off. Many race participants pinned the name of a loved one lost to cancer below their race number. The start line was chalked with sayings like, "bring it on cancer", "in memory of", and "Go ahead. Pick a fight." The energy and vigor of athleticism at the LiveStrong Challenge events embody living life to the fullest. We all need to remember to LiveStrong. Thanks Team Fatty. Win Susan!

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