Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bike MS: A Fundraising Challenge!

I originally planned on writing some posts about my previous MS150 bike rides before I placed a fundraising goal but last night while I was plugging away at some miles on my trainer, I got to thinking that I should pose a fundraising challenge, for myself and you, my readers.

This challenge goes beyond anything I've ever done before.  I had originally set my fundraising goal to $500, just a mere $200 above the minimum required to do the ride.  One of my years, I just paid the minimum out-of-pocket because I couldn't bring myself to ask my friends and family for money. Just now I've upped the goal to $1000.  Is that achievable?  I certainly think so.

So, besides raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research, here is my little fundraising challenge to you.  For each dollar raised, I commit to riding one mile per $1 raised over the course of this summer.  That means, if I raise $1000, I have committed myself to riding 1000 miles on my bike this upcoming season.  I don't know if I have ever put that many miles on my bike in one season!!!  So far, I have raised $225 ($100 of that being my own money).  I'm definitely riding 225 miles!  

My mileage will be achieved during outdoor rides as well as rides on my trainer on rare gloomy days of summer.  Also, I love my spinning class at the gym and plan on logging those classes as mileage too (with a conservative guess of 15 miles per class). If you are willing to support me in this ride, I'm sure you will be looking for proof of my mileage.  Well, I plan on giving it to you. I will post my Garmin data on here and on my Facebook page after each ride. I will also document it with pictures. 

I completed 14 miles on my trainer last night. Click here to check it out.
Only 211 more miles to go!

Please support me!  I'm putting in the work this summer to support Multiple Sclerosis research.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's More Than a Ride

Ofcourse it's more than a ride when you know multiple people that are suffering with the terrible disease of Multiple Sclerosis.  When I first started doing this ride, I believe it was summer 2002, I did it as a goal to reach.  Essentially it was a weight loss and fitness goal to see if I could actually do it.  My Dad committed to doing the ride with me.  I raised the minimum amount required for the ride and set off on an adventure. The second ride was summer 2006.  I will be writing about those experiences in future posts. I will also write about why I am riding this year and what you can do to help me in my fundraising goals. 

For now, here is my fundraising page.  It's pretty basic but gets to the point. 

What do you know about MS?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

French Fries, Pizza and Hockey Stops

There are really only three things to learn in skiing:  how to put on your skis, how to slide downhill, and how to walk along the hospital corridor.  
~Lord Mancroft, A Chinaman in the Bath, 1974

I took a step out of my comfort box again yesterday to go skiing with some of the staff at work.  I can't say I'm absolutely brand new to skiing. I have now skied (downhill) a total of 4 times over the past twenty years and, while in high school, I was on the Nordic Ski team.  Some if the techniques came back to me fairly quickly. What was incredibly uplifting about the experience I had lastnight was watching my staff that had never skied before.  

Let me go back a little bit here.  My manager and I were trying to come up with some different options for our branch Holiday gathering.  Every year since I have been there (8 now), we have gone bowling.  We threw in ideas of going to Medieval Times, going to a dinner theatre, a comedy club, a concert.  But come on, it's Winter in Wisconsin.  How about doing something outside.  So I threw in the idea of going downhill skiing and Chuck jumped at it.  

I later found out that all of us were inexperienced skiers or brand new to the sport, having never strapped into a pair of ski boots.  I knew this would be interesting if staff was into trying it.  They did want to try it! Yesterday afternoon, we pulled into the parking lot at Tyrol Basin, bought our lift tickets and picked up our rented equipment.  Then came the hill.  

It seems it was easy to take for granted those three previous experiences on the hills.  It took me a moment to remember how to skate, how to make a pizza shape with my skis and snow plow to stop.   I picked up these things easily, my coworkers did not.  We initially did not plan to get lessons for the staff but within moments, it was obvious they were needed.  My hubby, being the most experienced skier, was being gracious in his attempt to teach four newbies how to stay upright on their skis.  

It was exciting to watch them attempted the bunny hill for the first time.  I was impressed with the range of emotions that crossed their faces.  There was nervousness, fear, excitement, embarrassment from falling, and determination to get back up on their skis and do it all over again. There were multiple falls and helping hands to get them back on their feet.  I remember smiles, patience, and words of encouragement.  I remember team building.  This was team building I just didn't expect.  

There will be stories to recall at work come Monday.  I'm hopeful that all of those new skiers will go back for more in the future.  Maybe this will become a new tradition?