via Colavita-Bianchi Pro Cycling on Instagram: “No words can express the sadness we all feel regarding the loss of this exceptional human being. Ellen left us all way too early, but it will be our mission this year to carry her vibrant zeal for life and passion for the sport of cycling. We will never forget you Ellen. #family#holdtherope”
By Chris Rivera on Facebook:
Friends and Sufferlandrians, this post goes into A Very Dark Place in more ways than one, but I share it because I believe we can bring light and honor to a truly remarkable person that left us too soon: Ellen Watters.
Read on to learn more about Ellen and a special Sufferlandrian challenge to honor her.
Ellen was a rising star in Canadian cycling and had recently been signed to the professional American team, Team Colavita/Bianchi. She passed away on Wednesday from critical injuries after a car hit her on December 23. (Photo tribute from Team Colavita: https://www.instagram.com/p/BOnbL3DgDAc/)
Ellen was a genuinely wonderful, inspirational person and athlete, and she brought joy and light to the lives of everyone she met. That is a common theme I observed from people sharing their condolences: many people describe her as being a bright shining light in their lives. One of my friends said this about Ellen: she was “a kindred spirit who had an ability to bring out an enthusiasm, ease, and sense of fun otherwise generally latent and often forgotten in myself nowadays.”
In other words, Ellen was an igniter of sorts, and the very best kind. (More on that thought in a moment)
(For more of my thoughts and tribute, see my post here: https://www.facebook.com/chris.rivera.92351/posts/10100794618061232;
for one of the articles about Ellen and the fatal crash, see http://www.cbc.ca/…/new-bruns…/ellen-watters-death-1.3914004)
I felt inspired to honor Ellen yesterday with a Sufferfest dedicated to the person she was: someone who brought light to others and could ignite the wonderful warmth of their personalities just by being herself.
I present to you: LIGHTING UP A VERY DARK PLACE, A Tribute to Ellen Watters
For anyone that would like to take on the challenge, there are multiple individual ways to be involved (everything is completely voluntary):
1. Complete LIGHTING UP A VERY DARK PLACE as described:
IGNITER at 110% (because the “Light” should be stronger than the “Dark”) immediately followed by A VERY DARK PLACE (100%)
(If you share it on Strava or other social media, be sure to include something to the effect of “A Tribute to Ellen Watters” in the title. You can share any of the article links in this post in your notes, and the link to this Facebook post is https://www.facebook.com/groups/TourofSufferlandria2015/permalink/1373132552711287/ or http://ow.ly/Z81x307zapM.)
2. Contribute to the family’s GoFundMe page “Love for Ellen” to help them with the expenses of medical bills and Ellen’s tragic passing: https://www.gofundme.com/35fwy4g
3. Find a personally meaningful way to be the kind of light to others that Ellen was to everyone she met.
Some notes about this Sufferfest:
It seems easy just looking at it in text, especially if you’re a Tour of Sufferlandria veteran. We’ve encountered worse, right? I warn you that this Sufferfest is deceptive and deserves your full focus and honor; be cautious not to be over-confident. Igniter at 110% accumulates more time above threshold than many other “warm-ups”, and A Very Dark Place by itself at 100% has an Intensity Factor (IF) of 0.97; AVDP puts you within a few lactic acid drops of your all-out limit. I honestly admit that I cracked multiple times doing AVDP last night. I WILL try this again. Are you able to try this with me too and perhaps succeed where I initially did not?
If you believe you have the courage and Honor to attempt the challenge, do it as a genuine Sufferlandrian to honor one of the recently fallen of our cycling community. Let’s do this for Ellen and for all that need us to be a bright shining light for them, just as Ellen happily was for others.