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Team in Training program and run a marathon, race a triathlon, or bike 100 miles in a single day. You don’t have time for months of training? Walk a mile and raise dollars that way.
Of course, people could give your organization money regardless of whether or not you ever run, bike, walk, or swim that race…but I can tell you from experience it makes everything more special. There is an inspirational overtone to all of this. When you sacrifice, it means something. On May 22, 2009 my wife Moira was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 31 at the time and had just given birth to our boy Leo exactly three months earlier, on February 22. If that wasn’t enough, she had also lost her job in early February…just days before she was to take maternity leave.
Now I am not trying to get you to drag out the Kleenex here, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of you are thinking: “Wow, poor girl, she had one unreal year.” You would be right. It has been inspiring to live beside her as she and I cope with everything life has thrown our way. Up to this point, things had basically been going according to plan. I think it can be said that we don’t do any half measures…want a stressful year? Go big or go home, I guess
Speaking of big, I most definitely was BIG myself.In fact, it had become such a stressor for me that I was constantly feeling down, lacking self-confidence, and wondering if was going to make it up the stairs without breaking a sweat. It certainly hadn’t helped our relationship over the past two years or so. I would get down on myself and Moira would challenge me to do something, to take control of the situation. For me, and I am sure for many of you, it was never that easy. Sit out doughnuts from Washtenaw Dairy every time someone had a birthday at work? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Near the end of May, just days after her diagnosis, Moira and I were lying in bed staring at the ceiling and pretending we knew how to plan for her cancer treatment (we didn’t). I laid on the inspirational talk pretty thick. I handed her a copy of Lance Armstrong’s book, told her that “we’ll beat this” and I pretty much figured that was all I had in me. I’ll never forget what Moira said to that: “Fine. If you want to inspire me, get in shape. I’m sick of hearing you whine.” Actually, I made up the “whine” part, but she is too nice to have added that herself.
Go big or go home. I need insurmountable. Lose 10 pounds? How about 50? Run a 5k? How about the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon…how about the Chicago Marathon? Ultramarathons? In fact, I have done all of those. Plus, we raised thousands for cancer charities, Moira beat cancer completely, and we have raised a great little boy.
These days I write mostly about running. I write about my own running and my own interest in barefoot and minimalist running (aka natural running). I write about my favorite products and companies. I write what I feel and I try not to hold back.