It’s Thanksgiving Day. My family is all home and under one roof. I am thankful.
Have a nice day.
Do you ever do something or go somewhere and think to yourself, “What is missing”? That’s how I have felt for the past few years with my racing and then lack of racing. From 2005 to 2012, I was raising money for one charity or another as a part of my insane adventures. Then after my failure at Rocky Raccoon (2012), I stopped. I don’t really know why, but finishing the race in 2013 became more important to me. Unfortunately, that was not the agreement I had made with myself.
While watching an Ironman Triathlon World Championship on TV, I made the remark that the only way I would do a race like that was if I could raise money for charity while doing it. Lo and behold, at Ironman Florida in 2005 that is what I did. And I enjoyed it. I had this simple theory:
That thought is what drove me to train when I didn’t want to. That is what drove me to do increasingly moronic challenges to raise money. The bigger the chance of an epic failure, the bigger the chance that someone would donate to the charity I was raising money for. Running a 50K trail run on Saturday and finishing the Rouge Roubaix 100 mile bike race on Sunday….who does that shit? But it worked. The more I hurt, the more people donated (y’all are some sadistic folks out there.)
Right now I am looking uphill at some serious pain. In my current shape, this 50K with it’s ridiculous amount of climbing is a daunting affair. I am expecting pain, so it is time I work on relieving others of pain. And with seeing first hand the pain that Crohn’s Disease can inflict on someone, I have chosen the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America as my charity of choice. If you don’t know the story, my son Mason was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2013. Now he is one of the toughest men I know and it still brought him to tears and put him in the hospital for 10 days. You can read about it more on this post.
All of the charities I have raised money for have been personal to me. But this one hits me even harder. Because I will be pushing myself on this race, I am calling this fundraiser “Gut It Out For Crohn’s“. If you have the means and can donate, please do. You can click the picture on the side or go here. If you can’t, then say a prayer that those battling with the disease find some relief.
Crohn’s Disease is one of those invisible diseases that you may not even know someone has. But the emotional and physical struggle can be overwhelming. I will keep you posted on my fundraising progress and any “special forms of torture” I can come up with for myself.
I think I have found the missing element…….helping others.
Recently a friend of mine, Melissa Samuel, completed her second Ironman triathlon at Ironman Florida. After the race she posted something to the effect that the Ironman race does not care about your life, injuries or excuses. When I read her words, it hit me. That is probably what draws me most to the individual endurance events.
The race does not care. It does not care whether you are over-trained or under-trained. It does not care whether you have been working overtime or recently laid off. It does not care if a hurricane destroys half your state or if the heat index is 120. It does not care about Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or erectile dysfunctions (not me). It does not care how expensive or cheap your gear is or whether it works at all. It does not care if it rains, sleets, snows, lightnings, floods, bakes or a sink hole the size of Texas opens up on the course.
The bottom line? THE RACE DOES NOT CARE! And I love that.
When I get to a race, I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want a built in list of excuses. I don’t want a pat on the back and a “better luck next time.” I’m an engineer. I want it black and white. You finished. Or you didn’t. And it is up to you to decide what to do with either result.
I’ve said it many times that I am not a racer anymore. I don’t have the desire or interest to try to be the fastest at any particular race. I still like to do races with friends for fun, but they better be fun. Like the Thunderbird Night Run where you run on trails at night with friends and then drink beer.
Maybe that is why it has taken so long for me to get off my ass and sign up for another race. After finishing Rocky Raccoon in 2013, my mental, physical and emotional resources to “survive” another race were tapped out. I was toast. So I needed that break to forget the pain and to recharge my resources.
After signing up for this latest 50K, I researched many race reports from the past few years. And I am hearing some disturbing words:
Down Pour of Rain
Wanted to Finish Alive
Mud for Days!
Mid-Thigh Stream Crossing
Steep Climb Almost a Mile Long
Yep. I think this race will fit the bill. It will be about whatever the course throws at me and whether I can survive it or not. Because that race does not care AT ALL!
Disclaimer: When I talk about “The Race”, I am not talking about the event organizers or volunteers. They are usually busting their ass to make sure every one has a great day!