Working towards taking items off a bucket list is a pretty awesome feeling. Being able to cross item #1 off that list is even better.
On October 26th, that’s this coming Sunday, I am going to compete in the Miami Half Ironman 70.3 race. This is 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of cycling and then a half marathon. In total 70.3 miles. I’ve been training hard for about four months now. Getting up when it is still dark in the morning to swim, bike and run my to work each day to hopefully make it to the office by 9am. My weeks have consisted of anywhere from 10 to 20 hours of exercise. I’ve lost weight, purchased a fancy bike, eaten gobs of food and [luckily] managed to avoid major injury. The worst part, Florida’s summer sun and time away from my family.
With the race so close though, some friends have asked me if I’m racing to support any charities. Until yesterday, I had not set anything up but…..that was yesterday.
In the past, I have done an occasional race in support of the RSDSA in memory of my sister, Rachel. The problem with this is that this charity is more a memory of Rachel’s death rather than her life. In life my sister was interested in three things: helping people, helping animals and doing things with glitter glue. (I’m sure there was something else but those three are pretty encapsulating.)
Specifically, I remember my sister in her younger years collecting wildlife card files, books she would fill with information about wild and endangered animals. In her ‘later’ years she and I spent a lot of time working with what was then called the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). The mission was to stop racism and hatred of all types. Unfortunately, NCCJ has not survived the test of time but the Miami Chapter lives on as the MCCJ. Most important to the sparkling memory of Rachel’s life was her constant obsession of decorating everything with glitter glue.
For each of the first two items, I’ve decided to create fund-raising pages with The MCCJ and The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN). Their connection to my sister should be obvious to all who knew her. To memorialize the glitter glue is a bit more difficult so instead of donating do the American Association of Glitter Glue Enthusiasts (gosh, I hope that’s not a real organization) I will instead place one centimeter of glitter glue on my helmet for each $50 donated to the above charities. And to make sure it is clear I’m memorializing my sister, I’ll use purple glitter glue for donations to MCCJ and pink for donations to WCN. (If you’re curious, the helmet is black.)
There is one other item about my sister that is relevant. This Friday, October 24th, would have been her 30th birthday. So, with only a few days to go we’ll set the fund-raising target at $3,000. It’s a stretch, I know, but as an incentive if $1,500 or more is raised for MCCJ, I’ll dye my hair purple. If $1,500 or more is raised for WCN, I’ll die my hair pink. If we meet both goals, I’ll be running the triathlon as the Miami Beach version of the villain Two-Face from the Batman comics.