Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With a little help from my friends...


Here's a couple of things you may not know about me:

1.  I've always had trouble asking for help.

2. When I needed help a couple years ago, it found me.

Though this is certainly not the easiest thing to write, I'm a recovering alcoholic.  I had my last drink in June of 2008, and have not looked back since.  The day I had my last drink was also the day before I walked away from a company that I had started from practically nothing six years before.  I was at the end of my rope mentally.  It's a long story, and I would be remiss to suggest I was the only victim.  The short version is that the drinking was way out of control, I weighed 300 pounds, and I was pretty much out of my mind with stress and fatigue.  It was time to go.

Then two things happened.  I started exercising, and you all know where that ended up.  Even more importantly, a friend of mine (who I'm sure who would prefer to stay unnamed), came into my life in a big way.  He was kind enough to give me a bit of work to help me keep my financial situation together while I worked on getting myself together.  Looking back, I was so damaged then that I probably didn't earn too much of what I got paid.  But he never complained.  Because he is recovering too, he knew what I was going through.  There is no doubt he helped me through the beginning stages of my recovery.  And the funny thing is I didn't even realize it at the time.  But I do now, so I'd like to thank him.

It's two years later, and I'm doing good.  I'm happy, healthy, and (usually) have my wits back.  Multisport has been a HUGE part of the recovery process, but without my friend, I wouldn't have got to where I am.

While I was registering for the Long Beach Triathlon a few weeks ago, there was an opportunity to put together a fund raising page for CARE, which is the charitable beneficiary of the race.  The Comprehensive AIDS Resource and Education (C.A.R.E.) Program at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, is a non-profit program that helps meet the medical and social needs of the HIV community throughout Los Angeles County.

To be honest, I've not quite been able to get my head around asking for donations in conjunction with registering for a race.  I dunno, It feels like I'm suggesting that if you donate a thousand bucks, I'll get off my lazy ass and do a triathlon.  This probably has something to do with what I mentioned at the beginning - I have trouble asking for help.

The irony with multisport is that it's a completely one sided equation.  All I have to do is put some sweat equity into a sport that I love, and the return on investment is staggering.  Health and fitness?  Of course.  But how about confidence, self esteem, improved relationships, happiness, vitality and a zillion other benefits?

The truth is, I feel guilty because I was lucky.  I got another chance, and where I ended up is better than what I had.  How is that fair?  I have no idea.  What I do know is there are a lot of people who need help making their lives better.  Though I hope that you guys didn't have to start where I did, our involvement in endurance sports has put us all on a road to a better place.  And chances are, someone or something helped or inspired you to get started.

There are all sorts of worthy causes and all sorts of ways to help.  But since I am going to go to the Long Beach Triathlon and have an amazing race, why not do my best to make sure that the race is amazing for some other people too?

I've set a goal to raise $1000 by race day, which September 19th.  For those of you have already donated,  THANK YOU!!  For anyone else who can donate, it would be really appreciated.

I hope Jeff from Dangle The Carrot doesn't mind me borrowing his line, but thanks for reading.

20 comments:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

It's always good to help others, thanks for working to support CARE, seems like a worthwhile cause.

valen said...

gutsy one, good on you, mate. Hope it goes beyond the 1000 bucks!,
Cheers!, V.

misszippy said...

Brave post, my friend! Since I'm in Australia, I'll say good on ya! I plan to donate.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing an incredible story. Who knows why things happen, but I have always believed they do happen for a reason. Keep up the good work!

Bill G said...

Agree with everyone above - will hit the donate button for sure!

Jeffrey said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing. I always find amazing the variety of ways that we get into the multisport life. Keep up the great work and stay focused. I'll be checking out CARE today!

abbi said...

Thanks for sharing - glad to hear you are on a great path now and great cause!

Matty O said...

Amazing. Both your journey so far and that you have the bug of helping others via your sanity (multisport). H and I did the same thing. It feels so much better to be doing multisport FOR SOMEONE ELSE! The whole sport is all about being an individual, no pacing blah blah blah. To make it about someone else or a charitable cause... that is when it comes full circle, in my mind at least.

Good luck fund raising!

Emz said...

You rock for putting this out there. You are amazing. My nephew struggles with this daily. YAY for you.

Incredible story.
Thanks.

Cynthia O'H said...

You are an inspiration, Patrick. What a great transition in just two years. Powerful!
I'll put the word out there for you.

And, by the way, thanks for your comment on my Sugar Profile. I appreciate it.

Rad Runner said...

This is a cool, and courageous post, I am glad you took the better happier more life worthy path! It will make you enjoy everything that much more.. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottem b4 we can smell the sweet flowers..

P.S. I totally believe in karma, good things happen to good people?

lindsay said...

Wow, Patrick, I never would have known! It takes a lot of guts to put such personal matters out in the open - know that you are received with open arms and not ridicule. Thank goodness for your friend and that you were strong enough to change yourself.

Now get out there and boost your funding!!

Barbie said...

Patrick: I applaud you on your strength and courage on what must have been a difficult and challenging post to write. I will definately support your cause.

Chris K said...

I would be happy to donate. Bring on the link.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us...I know it couldn't have been easy. You truly are an inspiration. I'm so glad you had a friend that helped you through the rough times. I will definitely be checking out the CARE site!

Kathleen said...

It doesn't take much but a little help from a friend or stranger to help change the course of peoples lives. I will head to the Care site in the morning. Good for you for reaching out to help better other peoples lives.

DRog said...

Yo! way go, great story! Congrats on choosing recovery and sobriety and getting into multisport! I'm a December 06' guy:) ... You are doing amazing, and doing the fundraiser in connection with the race should prove to be very rewarding (I think since I have not done it yet) Ill be interested to see what its like for you, seems a great cause.
-Derek

Luke said...

great to know where other come from. If I get the ability to donate I will, but in the meantime I am donating all of my positive thoughts to you.

Glenn Jones said...

Thanks for sharing this Patrick. I'm at the same place right now professionally (minus the drinking). The future is cloudy and scary....

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Very inspiring Patrick! Very brave of you to put that out on the interwebs too!

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