Work-life balance or life-work balance?

This spring, I registered to ride 180 miles on my bike in memory of my brother Donny. He would have celebrated his 46th birthday the day I registered.

I looked up to my big brother. A lot. In fact, I followed him to The Ohio State University. It was there, during my junior year, on October 17, 1995, when he lost his battle with cancer.

It was rough. He had always been there to challenge me, as every sibling does, but also to push me to work harder. From my grades to my workouts, he always pushed me to do more.

Then, in 2002, one year after marrying the love of my life, cancer struck again. This time, it was my husband.

I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. Of course, I thought I knew how the story ended. I had been through it before.

But this time, we prevailed. Through surgeries, chemo, good days and bad – we prevailed.

Life comes first

When I started writing about this event, I assumed it would fit in nicely with the other work-life balance blog posts we’ve published. But then I started thinking along another line. I thought that maybe the emphasis should be on life.

If you think about it, it’s true. Life has to come first. There’s no way around it. Honoring this idea, this was my third year riding as part of Pelotonia, a bike tour that raises money for cancer research.

But training for a 180-mile ride can be challenging. Finding time to ride for four to five hours on a Saturday and then doing it again on a Sunday is almost impossible.

Thankfully, Hyland introduced me to indoor cycling (aka spinning). Not only do I enjoy taking classes, I also started teaching classes, which was a great supplement to time on the road. I am also fortunate to have friends and a husband who enjoy time on their bikes, so I was able to spend time training and catching up with them.

So, the weekend finally came. My husband and I rode our bikes 180 miles – 100 on Saturday and 80 on Sunday.

#HylandLife

On Sunday, the ‘easy day,’ I sported my Hyland jersey in honor of my peers who donated over $800 – which Hyland generously matched dollar for dollar. Not to ring my own bell, but personally, I have now raised over $8,800 for this cause. And, more than $2,200 of that has been a matching gift by Hyland.

Ding! Ding!

I have many photos of the ride. In some, I’m smiling and strong. In others, I’m worn, both physically and emotionally. And then there are the ones with the guys riding in pink tutus.

It is a long an arduous weekend, but the other riders are all in it with you – riding in honor of people, in memory of people, for themselves and for others who cannot. The crowd support as we rode through towns was overwhelming.

And the volunteers. Are you kidding? They are kind and generous. With more than 3,000 of them, it was amazing.

Everyone has a story (or two) about cancer. But what if we didn’t? What a wonderful world that would be.

Carissa Nettle

Carissa Nettle

Carissa has taught more than 1,500 OnBase customers and partners how to get the most out of their ECM solutions since she joined the Hyland team in 2007. A Team Leader and Trainer on Hyland’s Education Services team, Carissa has more than 20 years’ experience as a software developer, trainer and instructional designer, bringing a wide variety of techniques, perspective and skills to her role. You can also find her (ten years running) as a speaker at the annual OnBase user conference, CommunityLIVE (formerly OTTC).

3 Responses

  1. Colleen Alber says:

    As always, so inspiring!! Great work raising awareness and collecting cash for a good cause. Love you. Hyland and Hylanders for donating too. ❤️

  2. Don Safranek says:

    Rock on Carissa, thanks for sharing your story. And you’re absolutely right 🙂

  3. Jen Hughes says:

    Your brother would be proud. Thank you for riding for everyone affected by cancer – not just the patients, but the caregivers as well.

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