Michelle Alexander

Dr. Michelle Alexander

Age: 45Markham, ON

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Occupation: Family Physician

Family: I have been married to my husband Shaun for 20 years.  We have 2 amazing children, Bridget age 15 and Megan age 14

Greatest achievement so far: My greatest achievement in sport is completing Ironman Lake Placid in 2007.

The road that has taken me to this point of participating in the Sears National Ride, started about 10 years ago when my sister-in-law suggested that Shaun and I try a triathlon with her and her husband.  I did some running for fitness but hadn’t ridden a bike since University. I did know how to swim but didn’t ever swim for anything more than recreation.  We decided to go ahead after confirming that we could swim that far, and that our old bikes were functional.  As soon as it started, I knew I was hooked.  I loved all aspects of it.  I assured my family, in particular my mother-in-law that I would never consider doing any long triathlons, certainly never an ironman (see greatest achievement above).  Around the same time, my neighbour and good friend Neil had just finished an Ironman and was doing a lot of biking.  He convinced my husband to try the Tour for Kids with him and within a few years, I was also taking part.  The Tour for Kids Ontario became one of my most important and enjoyable activities of the year.  I loved all aspects of this ride.  It was rewarding on so many different levels. You were able to enjoy yourself and ride your bike, while at the same time doing so much for others and seeing firsthand what impact your actions have on the lives of others. It is very powerful.  My life is impacted by cancer often. As a physician, I see the suffering and difficulty families go through when a child has cancer.  I see the sadness in children when they lose a parent to cancer. I see the hope and positive changes that come from treatment and remission.

In 2011, that same friend Neil was doing the National Ride and I decided to participate in a ride-along.  We met the National group in Burlington and rode into downtown Toronto.  During this ride, I spoke with some of the other participants and with Neil.  I started to think about this ride, and whether I could ever complete something as big as this.  I thought about it every year after this, when doing the Tour for Kids and meeting the National riders for that particular year.  This year, when the time came to think about the National Ride again, I decided that this was the year.  My kids were a bit older and I was feeling fit and healthy – this would be the year that I would register for the National Ride.  Now I just have to train, fund raise and ride!

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