The Gift of Giving

Duane Roth and me at the Lone Cypress

My parents have always modeled generosity. They have hosted charity dinners for teens in need, made blankets and mittens to keep people warm in the freezing winters of Minnesota, given food baskets to foster families, shopped local to support the community, and soooooo much more. In fact, if you know Marlys and Jim, you are likely the recipient of one of their acts of kindness.

While it is a tough act to follow, yes – there are challenges with having such shucktacular parents (wink, wink), it was only natural for me to say yes to cycling down the coast of California to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) years ago. CAF gives adaptive sports equipment to people with physical differences. It gives them their independence AND a community of people they can relate to. It changes their lives in the most remarkable ways.

What I didn’t know is that giving to CAF would give so much more to me. CAF gave me a community of the kindest souls in San Diego when I first moved here knowing no one. The friendships formed have been foundational in my growth and fulfillment. It was my dear late friend Duane Roth (pictured above), who I met on my very first training ride with CAF, who told me I needed to get out of my soul sucking career and do more with people. That was one of the catalysts for taking the leap of faith into coaching which you know that I absolutely LOVE!!!

Saying YES to cycling 620 miles from San Francisco to San Diego, never having been on a road bike, was a BIG DEAL! I had to buy a bike and train for months. I said no to social engagements and travel, yes – even travel, to make it my priority and give myself the best chance at finishing every mile. Each weekend I hit personal records biking more and more miles than I ever thought was possible. I have now ridden 124 miles in a single day. I know, most people don’t even like driving that far. And, I did it! 620 miles on a bike down the coast of California.

That very first fundraiser also taught me to ask for support as I raised $10,000 for CAF. I am very comfortable with giving as you can probably guess. What I have had to work on is receiving. The very first call I made to ask for support in something I believe in, made me so nervous I was shaking. I have since been part of raising over a million dollars for charities in San Diego in honor of Duane Roth and his family. On a side note, raising a million dollars for charity was a bucket list item I had written down 10 years earlier. Never in a million years did I think it was really going to happen and it did!

Because I am so grateful for all that CAF has done for me, I have donated a coaching package for their fundraiser. If you have been considering stretching in to one of your dreams whether it is riding down the coast of California, learning how to receive too, or something else, now is your time to work with me. We will work on where you might be holding yourself back to really step in to your dream. 100% of your donation goes to helping the challenged athletes and YOU!

A HUGE thank you to Mike Ferretti for kicking off the bid – who, of course, I met on the ride. Which one of you will outbid him?!? Bidding closes at 9pm PST on Tuesday, October 25th.