Cycling for a cause.
Learn how V Teamer, Air Force veteran, and breast cancer survivor Christel B. has used her experiences to give back.
Warrior. Survivor. Veteran. These are just three words to describe Christel B., a U.S. Air Force veteran and Global Enterprise Advisor for Verizon’s Business and Government Operations team.
In 2008, Christel faced one of the biggest challenges of her life: battling breast cancer. That same year, she underwent a mastectomy and the removal of 23 lymph nodes.
Her road to recovery was a long one, but well worth it. During what she describes as one of the best days of her life, her doctor told her that she was now cancer-free. “All I could remember was that I was going to live and from that day forward my new journey began,” she shared.
Staying motivated and moving forward.
Two weeks post-surgery, Christel completed the Susan G. Komen 5K Breast Cancer Walk, feeling like a whole new person, both mentally and physically. Staying active was a key motivator throughout her journey, as she eventually discovered her love for cycling. She later completed three triathlons and her first 7-day bike tour from Atlanta to Brunswick, Georgia totaling 370 miles.
She even went as far as completing a “century ride,” which is 100 miles in one day. She recalls an immense sense of pride after biking 100 miles across the backroads of Columbus, Georgia in 7 hours and 33 minutes.
In 2017, she began cycling with the Young Survival Coalition group, a breast cancer organization, to raise funds and awareness.
Giving back by staying fit.
Today, Christel is proud to give back to others who are in the same position she was in 12 years ago by using her passion for motivating and inspiring others through staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The “Booby Boot Camp” program she leads for women and children includes Zumba, light to medium weight training, running drills, climbing stairs and steep hills, jumping rope, and yoga. For her, the best part is inspiring others to realize their own physical potential.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Christel is no stranger to hard work and challenges. From her time in the military, she says she learned the importance of teamwork, timeliness, and carrying out job responsibilities with a sense of urgency — all skills that have translated well into her role at Verizon as well as her healthy and active lifestyle as she cycled for breast cancer awareness and more.
Overall, Christel says she feels blessed to be able to take her past experiences and apply it to her work today. As she looks back on life’s challenges and obstacles, she continues to move forward.
Each year, being honored as a vet brings a huge sense of accomplishment and pride to have served my country. Sometimes people will walk up to me and say, ‘Thank you so much for your service.’ Those words are so powerful and reinstate the professional discipline I carry into my Verizon role.
Christel B., Global Enterprise Advisor and Air Force Veteran