Like one perk is getting to end your season about a month early and not competing in your last race. Also the decrease in training volume is another perk. But the best part about being done with the season and coming back from an injury….is you get to do things JUST FOR FUN! Not because you need to get it done for training, but just because…you want to!
That’s what I’ve done the past two weekends. I did two events- Just for FUN and for RAISING FUNDS.
The first event was the Childrens Tumor Foundations NF WALK. NF stands for neurofiromatosis which is an inherited disorder marked by coffee-colored patches on the skin and neurofibromas formed along nerves, causing visual and hearing impairment, other nervous disorders, and can cause tumors and other skin abnormalities.
My cousin, Mary Dawn, who was born with this. She was the most amazing person I’ve ever met. The grace she approached each day with was beyond anything I could have done given what she faced. She taught us all to be brave and patient. To not be angered when faced with prejudice. To LOVE no matter what.
I have wanted to join my cousin and aunt in this walk for many years. And I was lucky enough to have a hamstring problem that allowed me to not have to train. I got to participate in an event that ment something to me and my family. We had a wonderful day, joining others in this walk to raise funds. All of us being touched by NF in some fashion.
The next weekend I was finally able to participate in the CF Cycle for Life Ride!!! I have been a life-long supporter of raising money for Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
When I was between 4-7 years old I had 3 cousins, all the same ages as me, who passed away from CF. In the 1950s and 60s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. I remember playing with my cousins on their bed while they had to stay in the oxygen tent that was perched over them, just so they could breathe.
Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
The CF Cycle for Life was a blast! It wasn’t one of those big events, but it was really fun. The event started at the Boulder County Fair Grounds and made its way up Left Hand Canyon. The day was cool and the skies were clear. There really is something to be said for doing a fundraising event because everyone who is out there has been touched by CF or NF in some way. It’s just a totally different energy and level of understanding and appreciation.
I enjoyed every minute of both of these events that are so important to me and my family. To be active and participate for a reason…rather than just training, really help me put things into perspective. It’s not always about the destination, but about the people and common experiences along the way.
I really would like to thank all of you who contributed to my fundraising efforts! You all supported causes that are important. Not just to me, but to thousands of others who live with these illnesses on a daily basis.
So maybe next year, when you planning the events you are going to do in preparation for your “A” race, why don’t you find a cause to raise money for. We have all be touched in some way by a disease that has taken the life of someone we loved. Do an event, just because. And while you’re at it, you can help some people along the way.