I've begun putting more effort into my fund raising for the City to Shore ride more recently. For those of you who don't know me personally, I have had a goatee on my chin for the last 5 years (since high school) with a few extremely rare exceptions. Over the weekend I finally made the decision to shave it off (with tons of encouragement from my fiance). But, I wasn't shaving it just to shave it. I was shaving it to help me with my fund raising. The idea was that if I looked different, people would comment or ask about it, and that could start a dialog. I made up a quick paragraph explaining why I shaved, and asked for a $5 donation for noticing. Of course, everybody is welcome to give more money if they want. I've handed out about 10 or so at this point which isn't too bad. If I get half of those people to donate, I'll be happy.
Yesterday, while at work, I was asked by somebody if I knew anyone with MS. After all, that's what the ride is for, right? A reasonable question, but I had to say "no." I feel bad asking for money when I don't have a person in mind that I'm hoping to benefit from the funds I'm working to raise. Today, while sitting in class, I zoned out and started thinking about WHY I'm trying to raise money to help fight this disease. Maybe I don't know anybody with MS personally, but that doesn't mean the cause isn't important to me. So next time somebody asks me why I'm raising money for MS, here's the answer I'll give them.
Last summer, I made a commitment to myself to train and ride in the MS150 City to Shore ride because my Step Dad asked me to ride it with him. Although my step dad was unable to participate, I accomplished my goal and rode 75 miles from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ in 5:30 at an average speed of 15mph on a Trek Hybrid bike. It was fantastic despite the dreary weather. I made a commitment almost immediately to ride again the following summer. This summer. My fiance told me about 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line last year that she wanted to ride it with me next time. This motivated me again. So, why do I ride? I ride because this ride specifically changed the course of my life. Last summer I drank too much, I ate too much, and other than training for cycling, I did very little physical activity. Now, I'm trying to lose the weight that I regained last summer and through the winter because of my excessive eating and drinking habits. I've lost over 30 pounds total since I started and I'm riding better than I ever expected to. I've gotten closer to my brother, my friend, and my fiance. All of this because of one day last summer that got me hooked on this wonderful sport.
Thank you National MS Society for saving my life. I will try to continue to participate in at least one MS150 ride every year for as long as I am able.
For anybody who reads my blog, if you wish to donate on my behalf, you can follow this link and donate for me. I appreciate your comments in the past on my blog, and I appreciate all of your support. If you are unable to donate, I hope that you at least find motivation from me to get out and ride. It's healthy, fun, and a great bonding activity for friends and family. Start pedaling.