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.