After four years, I'm finally doing something.
When I started working out regularly, my friend Berntina and I challenged each other. We challenged each other to walk more steps, eat healthier food, and even run a half marathon. Some days we accepted those challenges and succeeded while other days...well, challenges are hard.
One thing she's asked me to do is participate in the annual Alyeska Climbathon that takes place in September. While I've been intrigued and interested, I haven't been able to do it. Usually, due to lack of vacation hours from the day job prevented me from participating. Other times, I didn't plan far enough in advance and missed out on the opportunity. But this year, things fell into place.
The climbathon is a multi-lap event where participants run up the north face of Alyeska (2.2 miles) and then take the tram down to the bottom. Then repeat. All day for up to ten hours. Participant can complete the run as many times as they want or as many times as possible. The goal is to raise money for gynecological cancer programs.
I graduated with my MFA in December 2018 so I no longer have to use vacation hours for the summer intensive. This frees up two and a half weeks of paid time off. I put in my request for time off (and got it approved) in May.
I reminded my husband (multiple times) that I was carving out time to attend this year's climbathon. Thankfully, he's super supportive of my love of running and is agreeable to hanging out in town with me for a long weekend. --Especially when I told him he didn't have to participate in the run.
Registration for the climbathon is a one day event and historically sells out in a handful of hours. That meant I had to be ready the day of and get my name in a slot. I set three calendar reminders and as registration day approached, I set two alarms. Not only did I really want to commit to this challenge with my friend and contribute to a good cause, but I have a six-year-old running buddy who counts on me to run miles for her.
I was up at seven on registration day. But I couldn't register right away because the organization didn't open registration until noon. That was a serious conflict because it meant I'd have to make certain to sign up while at the local Saturday Market. All I could do was hope that at that moment, my 3G would come through for me and that I wouldn't have to cut off a customer mid-sentence. Can you imagine?
"Hey, yeah, so I do want to talk books with you and I really hope you buy a book, but can you hold that thought? I need to register for the climbathon."
My customers are pretty great, so probably that would have gone over well, but still. Multi-tasking isn't always easy.
Twelve noon came and my last alarm went off. The market was well attended, but I didn't have anyone at my booth. I texted my friend and searched for the registration page. I thumbed in my information (thankful for auto-population) and keyed in my credit card number for the registration fee. Finally. I was doing it. I was stepping up to this challenge that I'd shied away from for so many years. And it feels good to know that I'm officially a part of Team Ovary Achievers. The fact that I was able to register while standing in my little pop-up shop made it that much sweeter.
If you or someone you love has been touched by cancer and you'd like to support a worthy cause, I hope you'll take a minute and make a donation here: 2019 Alyeska Climbathon. I haven't yet set a goal for how many laps I want to make at Alyeska, but know that I'm training regularly and that my goal is to run/hike my hardest up that mountain for the women who've fought the battle of gynecological cancer and those who are still fighting.
Thank you and God bless...