I have always prided myself on being a little self-less. My last job was not a “dream job”-if anything it had absolutely nothing with what I went to school for, and left me feeling as if I am contributing nothing towards society. Unfortunately for me, I am one of those people that are bred to work towards the greater good.
In the process of rebuilding, I discovered something quite wonderful.
Team in Training is a non-profit organization where groups of people from around the country get together to train for a marathon,half-marathon, or even triathlon. Pick your event, they got it for you. As you train, you are fundraising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
They're either still fighting or have lost the fight.Their struggle pushes me forward when I think I no longer can.
I jumped into this not quite knowing what I was getting myself into. And I don’t just mean giving up Friday nights so I can wake up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning to train. The goal for my particular marathon is $2,600.00. 75% of that goes towards research, the doctors we sponsor here in South Florida, and towards our honored teammate, a sweet little five year old named Dominic with whom I had the opportunity to run for during my first season of TNT last summer. His father is also a member of one of the South Florida teams, and the word he used to describe us, me, strangers to him-was self-less. And suddenly what became something I was doing to give back to society, to better myself, to lose weight-it became so much more than what I wanted it to be for me.
the best way to run
And I mean that in the best way possible.
With the help of my amazing friends and family, in my first two seasons of TNT I raised over $6,000 in donations. That is alot of begging, lots of repeat donations from friends who gave and gave with every ounce of good will in their body. The struggle to get donations is probably the hardest obstacle ( other than the hike up on the causeway that is waiting for us).
For every friend who gave and gave- are 5 friends who never gave donating a second thought. Of course, who I am to get upset?Or tell people what to do with their money?
It makes me fight even more, for I figure-if Dominic can endure at such a young age grueling medical treatments, I can bite my prideful tongue, and continue to ask for help from those around me.
This summer, I am seeking help from local businesses and group events, as to continue the fight,without having my friends and family open their wallets, as they have done so many times before.
Erica,(left) a great friend, former Teammate and 2 TIME cancer survivor. Badass
I will never forget one time, last year,I heard the DJ on y100 exclaim how Oprah had been sending President Obama’s dog,Bo-cashmere sweaters and blankets. And although I love Oprah ( have her magazine subscription to prove it) I couldn’t help but once again get lit up over such an silly expense for an animal who probably has ridiculous luxuries already. And here I was, joe schmoe,(Jane Schmoe?) hassling corporations and my own friends for 10.00 to save a child’s life-yet furry little Bo gets cashmere from Oprah.
With that being said, Oprah is an amazing philanthropist, and a woman I greatly admire. After my inital complaint I remembered how much of herself she does give, and the want/need to write her a letter explaining my plight diminished with the thought that it would just get lost amongst the thousands of other letters of charitable donation requests she receives. Perhaps it is still worth a shot? $2,600 is chump change to her-but it’s kinda like being shy to ask your rich aunt for money just cause she has it. Just cause she has the money, doesn’t mean she is obligated to spend it on me.
So where do I go from here? Fundraising during these pressing economic times is proving to be the real endurance training. I am hopeful that the closer it gets to my event ( October 17,2010) that more those around will support the cause. I’ve got until August 1st to make my goal.
Until then, less writing,more running ( and begging).