Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring is here!

Spring is here! Woohoo! My official walkathon posters have arrived from Arlene at the CF Foundation Greater New York Chapter. Very exciting.

Also, I like big bikes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trash man!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have this idea to trade community service for CF Foundation donations. So far, I've just been picking up trash in the neighborhood. This picture shows what I've gathered after only 3 hours of litter pick-up.

One day, I went to the roadside of Conners Emerson Elementary School and picked up trash there. The giant trash bag in my right hand is what I recovered over an hour. This week, the hill where I walked is being demolished (to put in a walkway, I've heard). When I was lugging the trash bag back to my house, my housemate Alex walked by and asked what I was doing. I told him, "Shopping...for trash."


Phew, I am tired these days. But not just from ultramarathon training. Let me explain:

For the past two summers, I have worked as a counselor at Journey's End Farm Camp near Scranton, PA. The camp is grounded in Quaker values, which I've come to greatly appreciate. The warmth of "a loving community and the joy of farm work" bring me back to camp every summer. This summer, the director is looking for counselors to hire with lifeguard certifications. He encouraged me to explore the possibility of taking a lifeguarding course in the few months before camp. I looked into it, and the local MDI YMCA offers Red Cross Lifeguarding courses, starting now! The Aquatics Director, Mark, told me I had to take a pre-course swim test and, in my excitement, I took the test, having not swam in more than six months prior. While I did fine on the 300 yd. endurance swim and the two minutes treading water, I sunk quite substantially on the rescue test. Swim 30 yards (quickly), surface dive twelve feet and retrieve an 8 lb. dumbbell. Swim on my back on the return 30 yards, all the while holding the dumbbell out of the water. Oh yeah, I forgot the catch: you only have one minute and forty seconds to do the rescue. I felt like a drowning rat pulling an extremely large round of cheese - I wasn't going to let go of the cheese, but I was slowly sinking.

It was humbling, and Mark agreed to let me start studying the lifeguarding curriculum and retest me in a week. Meanwhile, I'm committed to working on my strokes and finally submerging my head for a proper freestyle.

I'm also thinking BIG. Not only will I have a better chance at becoming a lifeguard by improving my swimming, I'll have a better chance at becoming a triathlon competitor as well, which is one of my life goals. Hopefully, one day, I'll be Hawaiian Ironman material. Keep dreaming, everyone!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Update #1

Happy Easter. Happy Passover.

This morning greets me roughly, as I find out just how many sore muscles ache in my body. I ran Saturday morning around 8 miles to the Schooner Head Road Overlook. Great wide view of the ocean (considering its low elevation). It was here that I remember the run around Mount Desert Island I accomplished last spring and the dark wet night I became lost at the Overlook. My, oh my, can one place look and feel so completely different as experienced during a dark confusing race night and a bright clear morning jog.

Oh, right. I'm sore not from the morning run itself, but from the exciting pickup soccer game at my college in the afternoon. I think the goals were less than 30 feet apart, which set me up for 1 hour of sprinting. Great fun.

I have been reading a book called, The Art of Encouragement, by Candy Paull, and it's wonderful. It's full of great quotes from a large swath of people, such as this one by Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."

Appreciate what you have, motivate yourself better, forgive others, use fear to your advantage...This book has it all for "living life from the heart." Here is my appreciation of late:

To everyone who has selected "attend" on my "24 hour fundrunner" event on Facebook to show support for my cause, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, I thank you very much. Your support reaffirms my belief that what I am trying to do is meaningful and important.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

And awwwaaayyy we go!

I'm very excited to be planning my latest fundraiser run. A 24 hour race to support Cystic Fibrosis research. I attempted the 24 hour run last November, without much success. The weather was pretty terrible. This time, I figure the weather in mid-May will be much more tolerable for an all-day and all-night affair.

What I'm most excited about isn't the run actually. It's the creative fundraising I want to employ. I'm taking the advice of my friend Mike Brooks for raising money. He should know, since he raised tens of thousands of dollars for Camp Sunshine through running the Badwater Ultramarathon. And then there was the 6 day race in New York City he did. And the ten day...

Anyway, I have ideas. I'm thinking I can commit to community service on Mount Desert Island in return for donations to the CF Foundation on my fundraiser page ( ) and pledging a few cents to a dollar per mile for my race. That way, I am helping others and they are helping me (reciprocity). Mike suggested I enter every establishment in town and ask for a donation. At least it couldn't hurt. And ask to leave CF Foundation donation cans at the counter.

The CF Foundation has some great tips for creative fundraising too. One tip is to have a pizza lunch at the office for your coworkers. Get a pizzeria to donate a few pies and charge a five dollar donation for each slice. Or asking stores to donate a percentage of their sales for a day. That way, it's a win-win situation. I had no idea how endless creative fundraising could be.

My goal is to raise $5000 in 6 weeks.

Mike Brooks taught me a great thing about advocacy. By hosting a running event to promote and raise money for CF, I could be inspiring others to participate in other CF events down the road. Also, the more people that know about CF and the 30,000 children and adults it affects in the US, the more likely they are to help out.

I am very excited to flesh out these possibilities and form partnerships with local establishments. Ah, the promise of Spring...