Friday, October 19, 2007

545 miles on a bike

For the last couple years, my sister Ashley and I have been talking about doing the AIDS Life Cycle.

For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a training program that people join to raise awareness and money for AIDS research and support. Oh, and did I mention that you ride a bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles? Yeah. That, too.

In 2004, Julia asked me if I wanted to run a marathon. The fact that I practically died every time I attempted to run over a mile momentarily skipped my mind, much the same way the fact that I already have plans next Friday night skips my mind when you ask if I want to hang out, so of course I responded, "Sure!" So I signed up for Team in Training and joined something amazing. Team in Training ("TNT" or as Ashley calls it, "tit") participants raises awareness and money for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins disease, and myeloma research while training for a half marathon, marathon, triathlon, or adventure race. I signed up for the 2004 Honolulu marathon and decided to train in honor of my cousin, Kevin, and my childhood neighbor, Cameron, who both passed away from cancer. The whole TNT experience was amazing. You improve your physical strength, you improve your mental strength, you learn more about the battle against cancer, you make great friends, and you directly help the cause by raising money for research.

Stephanie, Julia, Me, Tanya, Erica, and Kelly halfway through our training season at the Nike Women's Half Marathon, October 2004.

I'll be honest. Fundraising was not easy. I have a very very very hard time asking people for money, even if it is a great cause. But I fundraised and I ran the marathon and both were totally worth it. And I've been running ever since. Thanks, Julia! But after running for a cause, sometimes I feel selfish just running for myself. It's hard to explain. Spending so much time training to "stay healthy" or "improve my body" or "improve my race time" or "clear my mind" is not a bad thing, but it's a little self-centered.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah.

I used to do a lot of community service in high school. I miss it. Just like Team in Training, the AIDS LifeCycle would be an awesome way to get involved in a good cause. Not to mention it would be an awesome experience doing the ride with Ashley!

Am I ready for fundraising again? I know it's hard. I know it's worth the effort. I'll keep you posted.


LJ said...

Back in the day my dad used to take his group of scouts on a ride from SF to Disneyland. Fun times!

LKC said...

Your blog could be a good forum for fundraising. Just a thought.