Thursday, October 25, 2012

Goruck Challenge - T minus 55 Hours

The Goruck Challange is fast approaching.  The leaders have told us our starting point, Wendy Park.  It's right along the shore of Lake Erie so I figure we will be in the water pretty quick. 

The training for it has been going well.  I got together with 4 other people last night for a final practice with our packs on.  We almost went two hours in the wooded trails of the Cleveland Metroparks.

The other aspect of Goruck Challenge is my fund raising efforts for Girls With Sole.  Of my $600 goal, $100 per brick in my pack, I am at $535.  Only $65 away from the target. 

I've put the names of people who have donated on the tape wrapped bricks so each person will be with me during the challenge.  But there is still more room.

One name that has special meaning on the bricks is Jason Valatka.  He is the son of my friend Jason Hendricks, Sr.  Jason Lee, as they call him, was serving in the Air Force stationed in Japan when he died of a freak accident in his barracks.  Jason Sr. and his family are devastated.  Being fathers with children of the same age..I feel Jason's pain. 

Ian Hoffman has made his donation in memory of Jason Lee and support of Jason Sr.

I don't know how I have managed to wind up with some many wonderful friends.  Many people have donated towards my crazy antics in the past and continue to support me.

Thank you everyone for your past, present and future donation. 

All of my friends will be with me Saturday night/Sunday morning in some way.

I have learned something important from each and every one of them that will help me get through the Challenge.  And hopefully I will be able to help those around me to push through and complete the challenge and learn something about themselves. 

Game On.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Girls With Sole Challenge - GORUCK Style

 At the beginning of the year I posted my tentative schedule for 2012.  I have managed to stick to the schedule and used two events to raise money for Girls With Sole (GWS). 

In May I finally signed up for my fall event to support GWS and it involves a backpack, six bricks and duct tape.


Yep.  The GORUCK Challenge like to throw in some extra difficulty during the challenge.  I find it hard to explain the challenge completely so you need to read one leaders explanation.

So what's the deal with the backpack and bricks.  This is a military style challenge.  Our American soldiers "train" with full packs that contain lifesaving items they will use in battle.  For the challenge we won't need equipment to handle life threatening situations, so we have to supplement our packs with bricks.  It also presents a challenge of how to pack the bricks to make the extra weight as comfortable as possible.

I found my bricks behind Coca Crossfit which I thought was appropriate since the GORUCK Challenge tends to draw a lot of people from the Crossfit community.

Once reason I like the GORUCK Challenge is the unknown.  The event is 21 days away and we don't know our starting spot yet.  I figure it will be somewhere in downtown Cleveland.  We don't know what the Cadre, the group leader, will have us do and for how long.  The group will be active for 8 - 10 hours and cover 15 - 20 miles. And I have to mention that we start at 10PM and go all night. 

At least with an Ironman triathlon the basics are the same......swim 2.4 112 26.2 miles.   But with GORUCK you need to be ready for anything.  On-line videos offer a glimpse into what classes have done in the past, but each class event is different. 

So I have been trying to get ready by hiking with my pack for various lengths of time.  Also different exercises; push-ups, bear crawls, squats, lunges.

I have to be honest and say that the unknown has me nervous but I'm ready to embrace the "good livin" as advertised and make ti to the end with the entire group.

And this is where the fund raising and Girls With Sole come in. 

First the Finish Line Feeling.  This will be a finish line like no other and working as a team to reach the end will make it fun and rewarding.

The six bricks I will be carrying represents the girls in the GWS programs.  My rucksack will be a constant reminder of why I am out there. 

I'm "selling" advertising space on my bricks.  The contributions raised will help push me through to the end.  A constant reminder that I can't let down the people who support me and also support Girls With Sole.

I just created my donation page and already I have a donation.  Frank "No Neck" Ferro, Liz's husband, didn't even know what event I was planning on.  Regardless, he is the first name I have put on my bricks. 

Frank has my back. 

Looking back my rowing netted $525.  My swimming brought in  $320. 

For Goruck I'd like to raise at least $600.  That is $100 per brick.  

So now it's your turn to buy a brick. 

$100 gets your own brick.

All donations will get their name on my bricks.

All money goes to Girls With Sole programming.

Check out my donation page and if possible place your name on the list of contributors. Let's put as many names as possible on my bricks.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Finish Line Feeling

The finish line and the feeling you get when you cross that line is like no other.

Spectators see what the finish line holds for the athlete.


Marianne Vos wins the Olympic Road Cycling Event




 The desperate lunge for the line during the 800M run.




I personally witnessed the picture above standing near the finish line.

Yes, spectators can live in the moment with the athlete but the true finish line feeling is reserved for the athlete....because it comes from deep inside a person.  It is definitely a feeling that I wish we could bottle up and share with the rest of the world. 

Somehow my friend Liz has tried to share this feeling with the world. I first introduced you to Liz here.
I have tried to be a consistent supporter of Girls With Sole whenever I can.  Earlier this year I rowed and swam to raise money for Girls With Sole

Well Liz wrote a book titled, but what else, Finish Line Feeling.  It is a personal memoir of her life as a foster child, sexual abuse survivor, mother, wife, friend and founder of Girls With Sole

Liz gave me a copy of her book to read and review.  Unfortunately it look me a long time to write this review, but I'm glad I took my time.  First I don't like to write crap on my blog, I choose my words carefully.  Second, my delay has given me time to re-read some sections and think more about her book....and life.

So here is my thoughts about Liz's book.

Within the first several pages I felt like I had read enough.  There wasn't much more I could get out of the rest of the book.

"In my mind I knew that I would be left behind or sent away, just as it had been in the four foster homes I lived in before I was adopted (the different places I lived between birth and 2 years old......I was determined to pack it up, pack it in and get going before someone could tell me that I had to leave.  Rejection is never a good feeling, but the sting is lessened when it is experienced on your own terms."

And this is only the prologue and the first two pages of chapter one.  I just learned more about the human psyche in four pages of Liz's book than my 45 years of life.

I've known Liz for around 6 years and this book gave me a peek into her life.  She recalls key moments in her life that helped define who she is now.  Because of the trauma and abuse she experienced at a young age, Liz was sometimes a confused and violent person who didn't love herself or felt she deserved such love.  

She takes you through how she almost "gooned" her mom and built her Hall of Shame.  And she is not one to hold back on what she writes about or the words she chooses.  There would be a great loss of meaning if she had watered it down.

At times the book seemed a little disjointed.  I am a timeline type of person.  I like to move from point A to point B in order.  A couple of times the book jumps around a little but stay true and it comes back together just fine.

I found myself getting a little bored with her early adult years in Europe, yes this girl is a world traveler. But I went back and re-read some chapters.  The second time through I had a better understanding of how her very early years, as quoted above, influenced her relationships as a young adult. She wrote about it because it was her life.  The book would not be complete without the humorous stories or fragile relationships.

When you read this book by "Auntie Whiz" you will learn how NOT to use poison ivy, about "checking the oil", signing the constitution and how most things "ain't shit".

But most importantly you will see how a strong willed and determined woman overcame it all in order to give back through Girls With Sole.

Finish Line Feeling is....Game On.