A little over a week ago, I signed up to help raise money for cancer research and survivorship programs. Funds generated will benefit the Greenville Hospital Systems Oncology Research Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I signed up to participate in the Palmetto Peloton Project's Challenge to Conquer Cancer.
This is a team relay ride from Greenville, SC to Austin, Tx that will include 5 teams of 4 to 8 riders each. Interestingly enough, the teams are not numbered this year, but color coded. I am told that the color coding for the first two teams listed is not correct - What is currently the Green team is supposed to be the Polka-dot team (and vice-versa). Personally, it doesn't matter what color my team is, only that I get an opportunity to participate.
I've met a fair number of the P3C3 riders over the last two weekends. What a great bunch of people. They have immediately taken me in and treated me like family. Both weekends we have met for group rides of about 60 miles each day. Except of course the one day Ron and Jeni talked me into doing repeats of Altamont road from the Furman side. That day I only did about 40 miles. But, we did 3 repeats of Paris mountain. Quite a fun little workout.
I'm very excited about this experience. As I said in my first blog on this subject, I was just not getting excited about a 2 week biking and camping vacation out west, so I went looking for something a bit more meaningful to do with my vacation. I have found it, and I am truly excited.
Part of this experience actually forces me to step outside my personal comfort zone. I have committed to raise $5000 for the 501c3 corporation known as the Palmetto Peloton Project. This is not something I've been trained to do. In fact, I can't say that I've ever really done anything significant to raise money. However, if you know me, I think you'll recognize me in that statement. (for example, I had never ridden a bicycle more than 68 miles when I decided that my first century - 100 mile ride - would be the Assault on Mt. Mitchell).
There's a big difference between riding 102 miles (with 11,000 ft of climbing) and raising $5000. Primarily, riding up a mountain is truly all about me. I decide on whether I can do it or not. The actions I take directly affect my performance in that particular endeavor. When I made that decision to purchase an entry for the Assault, I had no doubt whatsoever that I would finish the ride. None, not one ounce of doubt ever entered my mind once I made that decision. I would be riding across the finish line at the top of Mt. Mitchell or I would be carried away by an ambulance. There really was no doubt.
Contrast that with raising $5000. Obviously, I have to play an active part, but it really is up to other people to donate (under my name please - John Davidson) their hard earned (and precious in the current economic environment) money. The active part I play is raising awareness of the Palmetto Peloton Project and talking about the good things that are done by this organization. Letting people know that the funds are used both locally and nationally and that we will traverse the southern US to spread the word about the cause.
Over the last 8 days or so, eight people have combined to donate a total of $510. This is incredible generosity from my friends and co-workers. I try not to be a hard sell - asking only that they contribute what they can - any amount is awesome. All of them have really stepped up. Some of them are survivors themselves, others have lost loved ones. Others simply see it as a good cause that is worth supporting. To all of them, I would like to express my sincere gratitude. They are making a difference.
3 years ago