For the last few years my sights have been set on racing my first half Ironman. So many things have happened in that time. There have been so many reasons I couldn't or shouldn't do it. Life just gets in the way I guess. I promised myself that after college I would focus on this goal as a reward for all my hard work. As my year has progressed I have been filled with so much happiness and
I'm thankful I'm beyond thankful. It only took two years of killing myself to realize that life is beautiful and full of rewards.
Four years ago I was so unhappy. I was stuck in a dead end job with no degree, no drive and no direction. I found myself lost. Taking up running and triathlon saved me. I found my career path in nutrition because I started running again. My life has made a complete turn around and I'm happier than I ever expected. When I first made the decision to race a HIM it was more for myself. I wanted to prove to myself how far I'd come (and believe me, it's far!) but as the months have gone by this year I have been so thankful for all that I have received. All the support, all the love and patience, all the rewards from my hard work. Everything. Then it dawned on me! I don't want this journey to just be about me, I've already received so much. I know I'm going to be blogging and talking all about this journey and raising awareness. Why not raise awareness for people in need?!
So that's what I'm doing. The Ironman foundation said it best:
"As you test your endurance and dedication in one of the most challenging days of your life, why not add to your race experience and make your race one for the greater good. Make your journey to become a (half) IRONMAN a race for a cause that you are passionate about."
Their mission is to promote peace through emotional, spiritual, and physical support for terminally ill patients and their families. I'm very excited to begin raising money and hope that you take a moment to visit my fundraising page to find out more about Project 4031 and how you can help.
My relationship with Project 4031 began long before I even knew it existed. When I made the decision to go back to school full time, I had to find a job that would work around my school schedule. That's when I entered my career in hospice. The call center I worked for specialized in renting durable medical equipment for hospice patients. Hospice care is care for the sick, especially the terminally ill. So our company provided medical equipment to patients who were inevitably going to pass. Generally this meant finally going home to spend their last days surrounded by family and loved ones and even in some cases passing in a nursing home or home healthy facility with skilled staff by your side caring for you. It was my job to take calls from hospice nurses, doctors, family members, chaplains, case managers, or anyone else who may be involved in the care of a hospice patient. I can still remember my first few weeks of training and how they changed my life. I had the opportunity to ride along with our service technicians to deliver medical equipment.
Let me tell you, there is nothing that compares to looking someone in the eye who is just grateful to have portable oxygen so that they can leave the house and enjoy the day when they are facing their last days. You will never feel more compelled to serve someone when they call emotional, distraught and exhausted after being up all night caring for a loved one. So many things we take for granted are monumental to hospice patients. I've spent the last three years working in this industry and I can attest to the daily struggle it becomes to maintain even the simplest of daily tasks when you're caring for someone on Hospice. When I heard about Project 4031 and their desire to alleviate some of that struggle I knew right away how amazing that really was. It is not until you face the hardest of days that you realize just how important the little things are.
I'd like to leave you with one last thought before you go today. If YOU were facing your last days, what would you want to do? What would you not want to do? Remember that Project 4031 helps families give gifts like these. The gift a last trip or relief from an unpaid bill, even medical equipment that is greatly needed. I hope you will take a moment to visit my fundraising page and consider donating to Project 4031. Together we can make a difference!