So today I will share with you first of all what it is, then why. Because I'm sure some of you will instantly ask "why???". So if I may ask that we keep all questions for the end please...
Team "Scream if you wanna go faster" is Denise, Rose and Me. Or is it Denise, Rose and I? I can't quite remember.
|From left to right - Rose, Lea, Denise|
We'll be entering this as a team and so one of us will be doing a 2km swim, one of us will be doing a 90km bike ride and the other a 21km run. At this point in time I have been assigned the 90km bike ride. Yes, typically I don't put 90km and bike ride in the same sentence and I have a lot of work ahead of me to make the distance, but more importantly to do it in a half decent time. I don't expect to win or anything, but I don't want to take forever doing it and I most certainly don't want to be the first person in ironman history pushing my bike during the race (with my luck that will be the precise moment the whole of New Zealand's tv and newspaper reporters will right there). So I have a lot of hard work to do in the next 211 days. Or rather 209 days as day 211 is the actual event. It might seem like a lot, but I'm sure it will go much faster than I would like.
Why are we doing it?
Well I suppose because we only live once and we may as well do something crazy while we're at it. Doing it as a team is certainly more manageable than doing the whole event all by ourselves.
It wasn't really something that we planned to be honest. After getting rather hooked doing the Kapiti Womens and Palmerston North triathlons Rose and I suddenly found ourselves looking out for other events to do. As a joke I'd sometimes send her links to ironman events - because how crazy is that? Then the next moment she replied "why don't we do it?" and I was like "what???!! Like in seriously???" and she was saying that if we did a half distance one as a team it could be done. Maybe I had lack of sleep or something that night, I don't know, but the next moment I agreed. So our next step was to get our third team member and so Rose emailed Denise with a "this might sound like a crazy idea, but we were wondering..." and Denise then replied with a "I guess I'm crazy too so I will say yes". And so here we are, 211 days away from our half distance ironman event...
There is another reason we are doing this too...
We will use this opportunity to raise money for the Make-a-Wish foundation. It is another charity close to my heart.
If you had one wish today. Just one wish - what would it be?
Having had a child who fought a life-threatening illness I know that for these children and their parents the one wish is that they would get better. All other dreams and goals and wishes have to be put aside for a long long time, maybe even forever, because right at that moment nothing else is more important than helping your child get better. I'll tell you one thing - it is probably the most exhausting thing I've ever done. There were many nights I left the hospital to go home with Caitlyn, tears streaming down my face as I desperately prayed and begged that Bianca would not be taken away from us.
For Bianca her life revolved around hospital stays, unpleasant procedures, horrible chemo that not only affected how she felt, but it "stole" her hair and changed the way she felt about food. And it is all about the numbers - 830 days of treatment. 117 days "living" at the hospital in a tiny little hospital room often in an isolation setting where she wasn't able to leave the room, 650 days of chemo, 47 blood product transfusions and so many more things.
But Bianca is one of the lucky ones. She is off treatment and doing well even if she is not yet considered cured. Even if we are at times still picking up the pieces. But she's doing well.
Many other children are not as lucky.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation helps grant special wishes. When your child is that sick, you do not always have the luxury of time or other resources to help make their dreams come true. For many children - they will never again have a chance to do something other than getting treatment for a horrible disease. So for one moment The Make-a-Wish Foundation helps a dream come true, helps brighten a child's life. Helps them forget about the illness they are fighting, the medicines they have to take, the side effects. It helps lift their spirits and helps them believe in magic again when they have lost the innocence all children are supposed to have. It gives a special moment in time when you cannot be sure you will have many more moments in time.
When we were right in the thick of things Bianca's special wish was to meet Suzie Cato and I will never forget that day. Bianca's face lit up and you should have seen the excitement and the wonder in her eyes. (To share in this day, click here).
So Rose, Denise and I will be doing our half ironman event to help raise money for the Make-a-Wish foundation. We are "dreaming big" for kids who might not have any dreams left anymore in the hope that we might make a special wish for a special child come true.
Please will you sponsor us and help us reach our goal. We've created a secure fundraise page (click here) You can use a credit card. It is a secure site. The same site I've used to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation and every single cent raised will go directly to Make-a-Wish. Alternatively let me know and I can let you have bank details and reference details.
Please sponsor us and help us reach this important goal. Every little bit will make a big difference! And in exchange we will do the biggest thing we've ever done and keep you updated on how we go along.