Ultra-marathon success

bigbend50 successWhat started as a mere friendship, turned into something much more than either of us could have ever imagined. Following an over-use injury back in November, my love and partner in life, Darren Miller, offered to join me on the trail. Together, we conquered the 51.7 miles over grueling terrain and remote wilderness in just under 12 hours.

Find the full story here: https://www.darren-miller.com/whatever-it-takes-well-do-it-together/

Featured alumnus in NYU Magazine

NYU mag (low res).jpgWhen you go to a school with more than 40,000 students operating in the center of the Universe, such an opportunity is beyond one’s wildest dreams. It goes without saying how tremendously flattered and appreciative I am.

For the full story: http://www.nyu.edu/alumni.magazine/issue22/classnotes_2.html.

Long overdue thank you

Over the course of 10 short weeks, through a combination of personal “ask” letters, generously donated auction items, Rotary, DAR and BGC presentations, a Taco Tuesday event on the slopes in Colorado, and endless support from friends and family, I raised an astounding $27,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of their Man & Woman of the Year campaign. On May 17th, in a formal “Great Gatsby” themed affair, the winners for the San Diego/Hawaii Chapter were announced. While not one of them, I couldn’t be more thankful and proud.

As we all know and heard there that night, cancer affects everyone, either directly or indirectly. It’s nothing anyone deserves, but changes the lives of those diagnosed and the people around them forever.

What the group of individuals campaigning for MWOY did over the course of 10 weeks is incredible, but what I want everyone to remember is that it didn’t end with the Grand Finale Gala.

Since finishing treatment 4 years ago I have learned that there’s something special about waking up and doing what you can, while you can.

My English Channel swim may be done, and the LLS campaign may be over, but I’m not done fighting.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for coming together to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the fight against blood cancer.

Surrounded by dear friends: Clay, Juliana and Sue.

Surrounded by dear friends: Clay, Juliana and Sue.

FAQ: “Why First Descents?”

In one short week, I leave for England. It is a time of rest and final preparations. A time to give thanks for my many blessings and a time to reflect on the task ahead.

When I first committed to the Channel nearly two years ago, it was to pay it forward. To say thank you when I couldn’t say thank you enough. To Lauren, for being far more than a swim coach. To my family, who made sure I got where I needed to be. To my friends, who sat next to me in the hospital when I could not have been more ill.

And to give back. For all of the young adults with cancer who are still fighting for their lives. To let them know that someone is fighting for them. To give them the strength they may not have known they had and inspiration to defy their illness, from a place I have personally been and with a mere roll of the die could very well still be.

Brad Ludden, the founder/CEO of First Descents, says it best:

Along the way there are bound to be some trying times, and in those times I’ll pause to reflect on why I’m doing this. I’m doing it because there is 1 young adult diagnosed with cancer in the US every 8 minutes. Because their lives are forever changed by something they don’t deserve and did nothing to get. Because they need an adventure now more than ever. Because FD will provide that adventure to them free of charge. And, most importantly, because if I don’t, they’ll be left to face their cancer on their own, and that’s something that nobody should ever have to do.

Thank you for your support in this challenge. I truly couldn’t do this without you and hope you realize the impact your support has on my swim and the lives of my peers with cancer that I’m swimming for.

T-minus 6weeks

Aside

6 weeks, approx 250miles of swimming, and countless hours of preparation remain until I leave for England.

Thank you very much to everyone who has donated already. While Channel swims are costly ventures, it only takes $1000 to send a young adult cancer patient/survivor like me on an outdoor adventure with First Descents. Last year, I gave $2000 to Team FD. My goal is to at least match that this year, but I think we can do better.

Time to light a fire on #OutLivingIt.

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FAQ: “What is open water swimming?”

The Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) is the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming (OWS).

According to FINA rules, “OWS shall be defined as any competition that takes place in rivers, lakes, oceans or water channels except for 10km events… OWS marathon swimming shall be defined as any 10km event in open water competitions.”