Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Stars and Stripes Challenge

This is definitely a year for me to push myself outside of many of my comfort zones, not just physically with getting active, but spiritually and emotionally.  I knew that moving to Greenville would mean a lot of changes, but I feel like I'm being led more to move beyond who I was into who a person that God can use as a vessel for His glory.  In some ways it's not a comfortable experience, but I am striving to take each challenge with a "Dive In" mentality.  I've taken that to my cycling, and to the Rob's Big Losers contest, as well as getting back to regularly attending church and even joining a Sunday School group that both Christy and I deeply enjoy.

As a part of that, I have signed up for the Palmetto Peloton Project's "Stars and Stripes Challenge".  This is how they describe the challenge on their website (http://www.p3ride.org):

A ride like no other. Sandwiched between the USA Professional Cycling Time Trials and Road Race, the Stars and Stripes Challenge weekend puts you on the very roads where cyclists train year-round in Upstate South Carolina. Join us for a fun day benefiting cancer research, outreach, and advocacy.
To qualify participate in the Stars & Stripes Challenge, cyclists are required to donate and/or raise an entry fee, as well as meet a fundraising minimum. 

This creates two different challenges for me. First is the ride itself. The course is a pro-course. I'm going to be focusing on training for it between now and May as a part of my routines. It's going to be challenging still during the race day, and it won't just be "me against the mountain", there will be a bunch of other riders on the course. The physical aspect will bring a new level of accountability to my workouts, and a goal that I'm not going to back down from. It's a challenge I can rise to meet, as my internal fortitude is strong enough for that. The second half of the challenge is going to push me well beyond my comfort zone, into a realm where Dragons of my own fear reside.

"[C]yclists are required to donate and/or raise an entry fee, as well as meet a fundraising minimum." 

Fundraising is a challenge for me.  I dread dealing with fundraising, as I always do some research and find out that some suit is pocketing up to 49.5% of the money that I think is going to a good cause.  Many of you have heard me state that on some of my kid's fundraising exercises I feel like I should be buying them a fez and getting out an organ grinder with how they make them peddle goods to make us feel better.  So thus me asking others to support me is a stumbling block, and a stresser automatically.  I set myself a goal of $475 to raise by May, and with my typical fervor I intend to make or surpass it.  I just need to get off the blocks somehow.

One thing I have found while reading through P3's site is that a vast majority of the funds they raise go to 3 specific organizations (you can read the full information on their site (link):  

  • Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer:  An cancer resource and advocacy group aimed at helping patients.
  • Greenville Hospital System, University Medical Center's Cancer Research:   They are aimed at new cancer treatments as well as being a local system not a national organization.
  • The Lance Armstrong Foundation:  "The Lance Armstrong Foundation serves to inspire and empower people affected by cancer".

What I would challenge you to do is do your own research, but I did find out while going through P3's site is that a vast majority of the funds raised went to Cancer Research in the Greenville area (not some national organization with a lot of overhead). In fact, of the $210,000 raised last year by P3, $140 ,000 of that went to GHS Cancer Research! The remaining $70,000 went to Amgen. You can read all of their history on their site (link)

If after spending time praying on it, and doing your own research, you felt led to support me in raising money for Cancer Research and Treatment, I would be humbled if you donate to my efforts. P3's site is set up to support the riders, you just have to select "Brian Lube" on the dropdown list on their donate site.

Palmetto Peloton Project's Donation Page

I deep appreciate all the support I've had so far, and look forward to having a follow-up to this post with pictures from the Stars and Stripes Challenge!

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