Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 16

Week 16: Mon- 30 mile bike ride
Tue- 6 mile run
Wed- 2,000 yd swim
Thu- 5 mile run
Fri-1 mile run, weight training
Sun-4 mile run

Total: 47 miles

Total mileage so far: 1,744.

47 miles takes you from the ranch to the end of Chief Joseph Highway and back. This is the spot on the road where we first learned about the spectacular signage the Forest Service puts up to warn you about bears.

I will verify that bears definitely used the area- we had to trap and transport one that ate all our pigs!
        Y'all, this is another mushy post full of emotion, because I'm proud to announce that I reached my goal of raising $1,000! This is such a wonderful feeling because, if you've ever done any type of fundraising before, you know it is sometimes very hard to solicit donations from friends and neighbors, even when you feel passionately about the project you are raising funds for.

         However, thanks to the love and support of friends, family, and even strangers, I have passed the goal of $1,000 by $37, and with three weeks to spare! 

Woo Hoo!!
      Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated. Each and every dollar is going to buy medical equipment and supplies for patients afflicted with ALS in the state of Texas. 
        ALS is a horrible, degenerative neurological disease that takes away a person's ability to speak, express emotion appropriately, and eventually to use their arms and legs as they want, or even at all. When I worked with Chuck, he could still get his point across without being able to speak clearly, and was good natured about his random crying episodes, or when he laughed while he was trying to fuss as us. He could still tighten a girth, although he could not always throw the saddle on the horse's back, and most importantly, he could still ride- even making it all the way to the top of Elkhorn mountain with a group of guests to show them one of the greatest views in Sunlight Basin. However, not long after we packed up and headed back south to go home for school, he lost even the ability to do those things.

Chuck enjoying the Cody sunshine in his front yard, sporting his trademark yellow boots.

         These patients are hit with this disease suddenly, and until a true cause is discovered, seemingly at random. Their families are not often prepared for the emotional toll, much less the steep medical bills that come with such a diagnosis. Taking that burden off the shoulders of those effected by ALS makes a huge difference in their quality of life, making it possible to focus on enjoying their loved ones while they can. I say it again, thank you for helping those who need it. 
          I always will remember Chuck laughing at us wranglers as we shoveled pile after pile of leaves in to the back of the old Ford Ranger pickup and drove them to the burn pile. He just laughed, got on the tractor, and scooped up huge loads, cutting a whole days' work in to a few hours. He just looked down at us from the tractor seat and said, "Work smarter, not harder," before climbing down and going back to the main lodge. I try to take this advice to heart, and by working together to raise money, we are working smarter, to make sure that the lives of others are not harder. It takes everyone putting their love and attention in to things to make it possible.
          In just two short weeks I will be running, biking, and swimming my way through a 70 mile race. This is a feat those with ALS cannot achieve. I will work harder, so that this fundraiser can make those who need to know about this disease smarter, so they can help even beyond what I have been doing for these 18 weeks. Thank you all, and stay tuned for a race report from the Livestrong 2013 Challenge next week, and then the Austin 70.3 just one week later!

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