Friday, September 24, 2010

Racing for more....

We are 15 days away from the Ironman World Championships!!!  Let's face it, triathlon is a selfish sport, Ironman specifically.   We train 15-20+ hours a week and for those of us with a spouse and family the time has to come from someplace... either we are going to bed at 8 or up at 4am and that has an impact on who we live with.   So the rest of our lives we are on the run, catching up, trying to meet expectations of loved ones, work etc.   So where is the time to help others....

I am fortunate to be sponsored by Erin Baker Wholesome Baked Goods. They sponsor triathletes around the country who meet their expectations in racing, being good people and who knows what other criteria.  So we train hard, race hard and hopefully get on the podium wearing their name on our bodies.  In turn they stock us up with delicious Erin Baker cookies and granola and a plethora of other terrific triathlon related good...all compliments of our wonderful sponsors. Kestrel, Speedfill, Playtri, blueseventy ....

There is more to Erin Baker Wholesome Baked Goods than just healthy breakfast cookies and granola.  Every year they donate thousands of Breakfast Cookies to organization and events all over the country which promote activity and healthy eating for kids.  They also provide Breakfast Cookies and fruit to kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County, WA.

This year when EB asked me to return to the team they also asked for a commitment to give back to the community....EB has partnered with Janus Charity Challenge.  The Janus Charity Challenge is a unique fundraising program designed to help add more depth and meaning to an athlete's Ironman experience while making a world of difference in the lives of others. So I am challenged to raise money for any Boys & Girls Club in the US.

I decide I want to help locally....so I go to the closest B&G Club in 4S Ranch and pull into the parking lot and as I am getting out of my car, I notice the Escalade and Mercedes in the lot.  I pause and think....gee how can I ask people for money to help support a club whose members are driving cars nicer than most.... Not.  So I left.  The next club that came to mind is the one in Encinitas, similar problem.  For those of us who live inland...the idea of living in Encinitas seems pretty darn nice and how rough can it be?  I am sure there are kids in need in the area, but looking at their beautiful swim complex makes one really wonder.

So I did nothing for a long time....with my race coming up I realized I had to do something. I considered just writing a check and being done with it.  But I did not take the easy route and I contacted the local director and conveyed my issue.   She was terrific and steered me toward the most in need clubs.  I was drawn to the Encanto Branch, in SE San Diego.  Encanto is a hot bed of gang violence. This neighborhood as the highest rate of Juvenile probation referrals in the are.   Over 90% of Encanto students attend Title I schools (this designation is based on % of low income families). Club activities have a goal of creating a safe environment that will feed these young people’s need for alternatives to gangs and drugs, positive mentoring relationships, recognition for appropriate behavior, educational success, learning alternative methods of relating to a hostile environment, healthy lifestyles, and self-esteem building.

I am tired of our government throwing money into prisons when we are not dealing with the root of the problem....Okay off my soapbox.

Next is asking people for money..... Really not my favorite thing to do but well- I get asked all the time and if the cause if good, the person is taking on a new athletic endeavor I donate some money. If I don't want to, I don't , no skin off my back, no offense taken.  I was drafting some emails and I was thinking....gee setting the example is probably a good idea.  Meanwhile I was lurking online and pondering a new aero helmet ( assured to make me go really fast...)  I closed the page and decided to kick in $500 to my cause.  Then well, if no one else added $$, at least I did my part.  

The cool thing is that our entire team is raising money and by the end of the year....it will be impressive.  Selfish triathletes all over the US raising money for kids.  I like it!!

So the next thing I had to ponder....who should I ask... well hard to say.  I didn't want to just send a request to everyone I know but how to decide... no rhyme or reason, less than more and well if I didn't hit you up for money and you feel like you want to help......here is the link to make a donation!  DONATE NOW  If I did hit you up and you are feeling put off, get over it, ignore it and move on :)  If you did donate, thank you very much- really helping kids is good for our future. 

So there you have it....no whining about my injuries, no updates on training, nothing about the hellish struggles of raising teenagers.... 

And for me while I am basking in Kona for a week.....laying in the sun, drinking Mai Tai's and pondering life , acclimating to the heat, carfull not enjoy the local food for fear of GI distress, avoiding the sun, going to bed at 8, eating at home to prevent any food poisoning and finally spending one hell of a long day swimming 2.4miles, riding 112 along the desolate lava fields of the Queen K and then running a marathon in the Kona sun.... at least someone will benefit.