Name: John Garza

Age: 54

City: San Jose

My favorite workout: Playing softball, bicycle rides and training for long-distance endurance events. I like to raise money for important causes, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

What motivates me: I'm motivated by the memory of my daughter, Marie, who at the age of 29 lost her life to leukemia. Marie and the family were told she had this dreaded disease on Monday, May 5, 2008, at 8 a.m. and she passed away that same day at 5 p.m. The peacefulness of cycling helps me cope with her loss, and if I'm going to ride my bicycle 100 miles, I might as well raise money to help others.

I've been involved in long-distance cycling since 2008, and I now have a passion for raising money for nonprofits like LLS, the American Diabetes Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. I've met many individuals with blood cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and breast cancer, and I ride for these individuals so they can have a fighting chance to conquer their ailments, which is something Marie never had the opportunity of doing.

How often I exercise: Depending on the time of year, I try to get out and about three to five times per week. I've been playing softball on the same team with the same bunch of guys for 28 years. I also swim, hike and run (more like speed walk) to mix things up a bit.


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The hardest part is: Training alone. I need family and friends to keep me motivated. I need to know there are others depending on me, others who are training and feeling the same way I am. I once trained with LLS's Team In Training for six months in preparation for a long-distance Ironman triathlon, which required six days a week of swimming, cycling and running. I put all my other activities on hold as I trained for this 140.6-mile event, and I could have not completed this event on my own.

What it teaches me: Endurance events teach me that I need companionship and support as I train. I have a passion for cycling, and I want to pass that passion on to other cyclists. There are times when I choose to ride alone. I enjoy the scenery, and I give thanks for the opportunity to be able to ride my bike as I reflect on my blessings. Endurance training also teaches me that if I want something, I have to work for it. Riding a bike 100 miles is no easy task, so I have to work hard. Crossing the finish line after any endurance event is like crossing the finish line for the first time. I'm always full of emotions and feel very satisfied.

Want to share your workout or fitness routine? Email mross@bayareanewsgroup.com with answers to the above questions. Put "my workout" in the subject line.