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Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

Several of my friends are participating in charity walks for various organizations, and this morning I decided it was time to donate to all of them.  I had been meaning to give something for a while now, but hadn’t had a spare moment to sit down and actually make the donations.

Two of my friends are participating in TNT events – one is doing a 104-mile bike ride and the other is doing a triathlon.  I am so proud of both of them, because I know how hard it is to train for these events.  Plus, the friend that’s doing the tri said that I was her inspiration – how cool is that?  It really made me feel special to know that I influenced someone’s life like that.

Ish is participating in an Multiple Sclerosis 10K in San Francisco in April, and decided to join a team because a few of her friends have been afflicted with the disease.  I’m so proud of her for doing it, because this is going to be quite a challenge for her, physically. She has such a positive attitude about it, though, and I’m sure she’ll have no problem completing the event.

Last but not least is Lisa, from Doing It For Me.  Lisa is participating in the Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer, which is another amazing event.

Since I know all too well how difficult it is to raise funds in these hard economic times, I wanted to make sure to do my part to support these wonderful women.  I figured that if I could spend $100 on makeup on Monday, the least I could do today was spend $100 supporting these ladies.  It’s all about balance, after all.

So, if you’re able to, why not donate to someone who is participating in a charity event, or join one yourself?  There really is no better feeling than giving back.

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This week has been pretty exciting: new shoes, first track practice with TNT, and lots of love from family & friends in the contributions to the fundraising.

I haven’t been feeling particularly OP this week.  I should be walking on my own in order to prepare for the half marathon, but I haven’t.  Sunday and Monday nights I did a workout DVD, and I walked 3/4 of a mile on Wednesday, but that’s about it.  I’ve also had a bit of an increased appetite this week because of TOM.  I’ve been staying within my points (using my extra 35), so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about on weigh-in day, but I wasn’t as diligent about my tracking.  I did keep track of what I was eating in my head, but that never makes me feel as confident or organized as when I’m actually imputting what I’ve eaten into my Points Tracker. I usually track every day using eTools, but this week my main focus was on setting up the TNT fundraising page and making sure I thanked everyone for their donations.  I guess I should cut myself a little bit of a break, because the whole TNT thing is a whole new world, and sometimes you can only concentrate on so many things at once.

Tomorrow we’re scheduled to walk 4 miles, which is incredibly daunting.  I haven’t walked that far at once in years.  The Turkey Trot was a 5k, and that almost killed me.  Now that I have the new shoes, I’m hoping that I will be able to go a lot farther without too many problems.  They’re giving us 2 hours to walk the 4 miles, which means 30 minutes/mile, and I know I can do that.  I’m hoping I can average a 20-minute mile, but I’m going to keep the whole “slow and steady” idea in mind.  I’ll be really proud of myself for just completing it.

So next week (beginning on Sunday), I’m going to make a point of getting in more practices on my own.  Which means I’ll have to hit the gym.  I haven’t been inside my 24 Hour Fitness in months because I’ve been finding that I like working out outside of the gym better.  I’ve kept up my membership because I know I’ll use it a lot more frequently in the summer when I’m off.  I’ve been avoiding the treadmill like the plague, but now that I’ve signed up to walk the half marathon, it only makes sense to get back on it.  I’m thinking I may ease my way into it, though.  Maybe a warmup on the elliptical for about 20 minutes and then 40 minutes or so on the treadmill to start.

All in all, this week has been wonderful so far.  Lots of new, positive experiences.

I’d better get to bed now, since I have to be up at 5:30am (on a Saturday!) in order to make it to the TNT training.  Wish me luck that I don’t hit the snooze button too many times.

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Today has been a truly wonderful day.  It’s also been an emotional day, filled with happiness and a few tears.  I’m pretty wiped out at this point, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

Last night I sent out my fundraising email for TNT.  I followed the directions they gave us and sent the email to everyone I know, including people on Facebook whom I haven’t seen in over 20 years (grammar school & high school friends).  Since I have over 275 friends on Facebook, I was hoping that a few of them would donate a bit of money.  Maybe $10 or so.

I went to bed, and when I awoke this morning, I already had two donations of $25 each.  Then I got to school and I had 3 more.  As the day continued, the funds raised kept growing and growing.  People were extremely generous in their giving.  Overwhelmingly so.

A few times throughout the day, I went to my fundraising page and reread what I had written.  Every time I read the part about my uncle, I get tears in my eyes.  I miss him so much, and he was such an inspiration in my life.  I know he would be so proud of me if he were still here.  You see, my uncle always wanted me to lose weight so that I would be healthier, and I know that he would be so happy at all that I’ve accomplished so far.  I know that when I cross the finish line in May, because I WILL cross it, he’s going to be there with me too.

As the day continued into evening, more donations came in.  I can’t believe the amount people are giving in this economy.  I am so happy that people are willing to support me to reach this challenging goal.  So far today I’ve raised $875.  In ONE day!  I still have a long way to go to get to the minimum goal of $2900, but if I have a few more days like today, I think I can get there.

When they say that TNT will change your life, I thought it was mostly about pushing yourself to your physical limits and then surpassing them.  I had no idea it was also going to be about a renewed sense of the spirit of human generosity and kindness. I have been blown away by so many of my friends, family, and colleagues today that I am humbled and awestruck.

If you’d like to donate, you can click on this link.  Thank you for donating anything you can, if you can.  I appreciate it more than you know.

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So, in my last post, I mentioned that I was feeling oddly nervous about the Team in Training informational meeting that I had signed up to go to today.  Even this morning, I was thinking about whether or not I should go to the meeting.  Since Thursday evening, I’d been depressed because of some money woes (I won’t bore you with the details).  I wasn’t feeling very good about myself, but I told myself that I would look like a fool in front of all of you who read this blog, after I asked for support and got such amazing comments and encouragement from all of you, and then didn’t go to the meeting.

I decided to boost my spirits by listening to the Biggest Loser Theme Song, Proud.  As I mentioned before, there is just something about that song that inspires and motivates me.  After I was finished listening, I was pumped and ready to head to the meeting.

As I drove to the meeting, I was still a bit nervous about what it was going to be like.  But once I walked in, and everyone was so warm and welcoming, I knew my fears were silly.

The meeting began with a powerpoint presentation about the components of signing up to do an endurance event: training, fundraising, and purpose.

Training
The great thing about signing up to do an event with Team in Training is that they automatically pair you with a group of people who will be training with you. Not only do you get the opportunity to meet a bunch of new friends, but you also get coaches who are there to make sure you achieve your personal best. They set up a schedule for you to follow that is challenging, but completely doable. They ask that you workout 6 days a week. Some days are more strenuous than others, but each day helps you work toward the goal.

Fundraising
Team in Training makes it clear from the start that besides the great thing you’re doing for yourself and your fitness by signing up for an event, you’re also doing it to raise money for research and patient services costs for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They set you up with a personalized website that allows people to see your progress towards both your fitness and fundraising goals. They also offer lots of suggestions about ways to raise money beyond the obvious email blasts and letter writing campaign. I can’t wait to hear about the ideas they have. (They mentioned that one lady told all of her friends with children that she’d babysit the kids at her house for a night so the moms could have a girls’ night out, all for a simple donation. I loved that idea!)

The Purpose
The main purpose, of course, is to help find a cure for blood cancers of all sorts. When I first decided to go to the info meeting, I hadn’t really thought about the way that blood cancers have affected my life personally. As they were presenting today, I realized that my favorite uncle (who has since passed away due to other causes) was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease when he was 19. Thanks to the care he received at Stanford University, he was cured. Another cousin of mine currently has non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and although he’s doing well, his life has changed dramatically since his diagnosis. Even if I didn’t have these two personal connection to this cause, I know that I would feel it was important because of the hundreds of thousands of children and adults who are diagnosed with this disease every year in this country. The numbers are sobering.

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So after all of this information, they broke us up into groups, based on the type of endurance events we were interested in.  I joined the Walk Group, and found it funny that I was the youngest person in the room by at least 20 years.  Which is fine.  I know myself, and I am not in any kind of shape to join a Run Group.  That will be the next one!

After looking at all of the spring events being offered, I decided on the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon happening May 31st, Memorial Day Weekend.  If you go to the website, you’ll see that they don’t discuss a half marathon option.   Team in Training made a special arrangement with the event planners to allow TNT participants to sign up for the half marathon.

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I simply can’t wait!  I have a little of 3 months to train to walk in this 13.1 mile walk/race.  I have pledged to raise $2900, and I know I can do it.  Both my parents ($100) and my sister ($75) have donated.  I know that I have tons of friends who would be able to donate something, because even $10 gets me that much closer to my goal.  I can’t wait to receive the website so I can start emailing friends, family, and colleagues to get their donations.  I hope I have no problem raising donations, but you never know in this economy.  I’m hoping people will realize what a great cause this is, and open their hearts and wallets.  Shameless request: If any of you are so inclined, please contact me, and I’ll send you the link to my TNT page.

A small portion of the $2900 goes towards my accommodations – airfare to San Diego and a hotel room.  The cool thing is, Team in Training handles all of the travel arrangements for me.  I haven’t been to San Diego since I was about 8 years old, and I can’t wait to see this gorgeous city again.  As I was telling my mom about all of this on the phone today, she said she loves San Diego.  I asked her if she and my dad would think about going down to San Diego to cheer my on, and she said they would!  How fun will that be?

One of the best parts about all of this is that it’s such a personal challenge for myself.  Walking in a race is definitely not my strong suit, so this is going to push me in ways I cannot even imagine.  I know my fitness level is going to increase tremendously, and I can’t wait to see how much better I’m going to feel.  Not to mention the weight this training schedule is going to help me lose!

The entire experience today lifted my spirits, and I know that I’m about to do something that is going to be a life-changing experience for so many reasons.

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