I’m writing to share my journey with you. Where do I start, let me see.
30 years ago I was watching a TV show on NBC Wide World of Sport and they broadcast a sport called the Ironman Triathlon. I found this so intriguing and emotional that it drew me in right away. I watched a gal named Julie Moss crawl the last 100meters or so of the event in agony. You ask why would I be drawn to something as painful as what I witness on TV that day. It wasn’t the pain I felt, it was the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and that expression on her face when she crossed the line and finished. She was leading up to the point of collapse and as she’s crawling the last few meters she gets passed by her competitors and loses the race. She had no idea that this was happening, her only determination was to finish. That sport was” Ironman Triathlon” and that event created the phenomenon that is Long Distance Endurance Triathlon Racing. There are different names for the brand nowadays, Ironman, Challenge, etc…
In 1990 I did my first Ironman Triathlon in Penticton BC on the last weekend of Aug along with 300 other athletes. It was the second official Ironman race in the world at the time and today there are possibly 10’s of thousands of athletes that race at these events all over the world. Why do they do it, same reason I came to the sport so many years ago.
Sense of Accomplishment
Determination to succeed
Commitment to life and sport
Pride of accomplishment
Just knowing that the body can tolerate what the mind tells it to do.
I’ve gone on to do 10 more of these events over the following 20 years, in Penticton, and had the opportunity to race at the World Championships in Kona Hawaii in 2006. I’ve believed in the sport and the discipline so much that I have given back to the very sport that has made me so successful in my life. Great marriage, great kids, awesome business, fabulous friends.
For 36 years I have volunteered back to the sport to help kids grow in the sport and experience the joy I get. In 2005 I started a race called the Chinook Triathlon in Calgary AB and all of the profits of the event were used to sponsor athletes and develop the youth of the sport. I raised $100,000 over that time and was very proud of all the people that helped achieve those results. I’ve since handed the race over to one of those young athletes that has since become a pro Triathlete and a successful young man in society. He will continue with the tradition of giving back to the sport that made him who he is.
Last year after many years of volunteering I suffered with burnout, lack of energy, drive motivation. Had to deal with: no desire to go to the gym, ride my bike or go to the pool. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Had to have a complete change of my diet, find rest and relaxation, and slowly build my drive. I was 230lbs, very overweight, unable to lose any weight. Gluten was the culprit, remove it from the diet and things will change, that’s what the Dr told me. 2months go by, no change, 3 months go by no change 6 months go by still no change. The Dr says stick with it, don’t give up and 8 months go by and finally change is happening.
That leads me to the reason I’m asking you to help me with this quest to raise $20,000 for Mental Health.
So much stress in our lives are effected by mental health, the decision to get out of bed every morning to go to work to be productive in society. The way we have been raised, the people we’ve been exposed to, the influences we’ve been exposed to. It’s imbedded in society and I think that a lot or our challenges in society are related to Mental Health. We need to have support and get the word out there about this sickness. We can change things it takes time and patience.
I’m asking you to help me with this quest to raise $20,000 for Mental Health, that sounds like a tall order but based on the amount of people I know we should be able to pull it off. For a small donation of $20 you will receive a charitable tax receipt for you contribution and if I get 1000 people to support me then I achieve my goal.
My goal will be to get myself to the start line of the Challenge Triathlon in Roth Germany on July 17th 2016 for my first Iron distance race in 5 yrs.
The link to the Canadian Mental Health Association; Ride Don’t Hide donation page is; Ride Don’t Hide Mike’s Sponsor page.
Training in the Okanagan in 2015, a long way to go but getting started.