A former minister in Arizona, Jean Medley is an inspiration on many levels, but she accounts her incredible transformation to being introduced to TerraTrike through her local dealer in Phoenix – Sun Cyclery.
In 2015, Jean was five feet tall, 325 pounds and an insulin dependent Type II Diabetic. She took multitudes of drugs every day to control her condition. Her heart was enlarged on the left side and she had severe edema in her feet and legs. She could barely walk 15 steps without huffing and puffing like she’d just sprinted a marathon. She had to purchase two seats when she flew or find an airline that provided larger seats at an extra price.
She was 63 years old and felt like her life was spiraling to a quick end. What she did next is the inspirational part:
I had been overweight most of my life. Could I really change the way that I ate and start to exercise? At the time it felt hopeless, but I knew I had to do something.
Every day, as I sat in my recliner watching TV, I’d hear the fitness gurus repeat the same phrase, “Just get up and move!”. So one day, I said to my sister, “I am going to get up and start moving.” I had no idea what exactly that would be. Walking was out of the picture because my knees were ruined (I eventually got my left knee replaced). I couldn’t ride an upright bicycle because of my balance issues. I was embarrassed to even think about going to the gym.
This man had been on the TV program and chose to ride a trike to exercise during his weight loss journey. I said to myself, “I could do that!!” The three wheels would give me great balance, the seat looked super comfortable and it didn’t look abusive toward my tender knee.
I heard TerraTrike was the best on the market so I headed to my local dealer.
I visited over 15 bike shops in the area and because of how I looked, most just ignored me. They’d hardly give me the time of day. I knew that I didn’t look like the typical cyclist, but didn’t think that I would experience such prejudice.
Then I called Sun Cyclery and talked to Adam, who was courteous, respectful and interested in helping me find an appropriate used trike to try out. He said that they don’t usually have used ones, but they just got one in by chance.
When I walked into the shop, they didn’t know who I was at first. However, I was greeted immediately and was asked how they could help me. I asked for Adam at no time did he act like I was anything but a serious cyclist.
I have lost 175 pounds since that day and never looked back.
For the last four years I have participated in the Tour de Cure in Phoenix for the American Diabetes Association. In my first Tour de Cure, out of about 1,200 riders, I came in dead last and two hours later than the last rider. But you wouldn’t believe it…at the finish line there were over a hundred people there to greet me and announce my finish. People had heard my story and my commitment to finish no matter what. I still tear up when I think of that day.
At age 66, I decided to go to Holbrook, Arizona, where the historic Route 66 crosses northern Arizona and ride 66 miles on my 66th birthday on Historic Route 66. People stopped me everywhere and wanted to know my story. It was epic.
This year will be full of more rides. I will be 68 on September 24 and I hope to make an epic 68-mile ride. And on September 8, I will be riding 35 miles through the Sonoma wine country in the Tour de Fuzz to support local law enforcement.
It sounds a little cheesy, but it’s true – I finally began to live at 64 when I purchased my first TerraTrike.