Its that time of year again. I am beginning my fund raising for the MS-150. Its a ride that supports research into treatments and cures for MS, and helps to provide support for those living with the disease. I thought it might make sense to talk about why I am riding this year.
Last year was the first year that I rode for this cause. It started out as an invitation from my brother-in-law. He and his wife had started riding and had a group that they were riding with. They knew that I used to ride and it would be a good opportunity to do something together. When I first heard about them doing it, I wasn’t sure that I could make the time. We had two children and another due any time.
I decided, at the prompting of my lovely bride, to commit to it. I paid my money and set out to train for it. About ten years ago, I picked up riding and wanted to ride in the MS-150 but never got to the point where I could ride that distance. My training was haphazard and really more of a way to burn off stress from work. Last year was different. In the intervening years, I matured as a person and because of my time constraints, I realized that I needed to have a structured plan in order to be able to handle the rigors of the event. With less than 16 weeks to prepare, it was an effort, since I didn’t know what I was doing, had a new baby and limited time.
I managed to get it together and finish the event. With the generous support of my family and friends, we were able to raise over $1,300 dollars for the cause. At the event they had a couple of speakers that spoke about how all of the funds that were raised impacted the lives of people in a very real way. It started off as a way to get fit and do something with my family and became a way to help other people. What more can you ask for?
After spending a year riding, I also noticed that I felt better, my mood was improved and I had found a way to reduce stress. This year, I started much earlier in the year to train for the event. Now that I know that I can finish, my goal is to improve my performance: both in terms of the actual event and the fund raising for the cause.
I don’t have a story of how my life was impacted by MS. I am fortunate in that respect. As far as I know, there is only one person in all of my family, friends and co-workers that has the disease. I did find that when people donated, they shared with me how their lives have been impacted by loved ones with MS. This helped with the feeling that this is a concrete way that I can try to help to make the world a better place for a lot of people in this one area. From what I have read, there is a lot of promising research in this area and I really think that it my donation to this organization makes a real difference.
So, lets be honest, the primary reason that I ride is because I enjoy it. But in doing something that I enjoy, I can help others. There is no direct impact to me, but there is a real impact to others. I hope that you will help me with a donation this year. A link to my fund raising page is here. Anything you can donate would be appreciated.