To date, Team Drea has raised:
$13,016.14 for the Blazeman Foundation 
$2,887.90 for the ALS Association
 = 
$15,904.04 dedicated to finding a cure for ALS and caring for those with it.
Thank you.
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Over the past few months, I’ve had several people tell me that my story has inspired them to sign up for a race they’d previously written off as impossible. A triathlon. A marathon. Even an Ironman.
Carolina Half 70.3

I LOVE hearing this. There is no feeling in the world like the moment you cross the finish line of a race you’ve worked so hard for and weren’t at all sure you could finish. But the best part is looking back and realizing it was really the daily grind of training, staying committed, overcoming setbacks, prioritizing your health, breathing hard, pushing through, sweating and just being alive — the journey itself — that was actually the reward all along. That post-race high can just be enough to crack open your accepted image of yourself (with all your self-imposed limitations) to see your life and its possibilities differently. It’s emotional and addictive and quickly becomes something you want to find over and over again.

For me, I hit those highs at the Yuengling Marathon in 2012, the Carolina Half 70.3 in September 2013, and the Ramblin’ Rose triathlon in October 2014. I want another one so bad that sometimes I dream about it.  But with ALS, I have to pull back from all that I want to do and conserve my strength. I am putting together a race schedule of sorts for 2015 which I’m excited about, but it’s not the same.

So when my friends and family say I’ve inspired them to go out and train for a race, that’s what I’m thinking about. I’d love to be out there doing it myself, but since I can’t, it means a lot to know that I’m playing a small part in encouraging you to seek out those experiences for yourselves.

That is the heart of the Team Drea Challenge.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Commit to a swim, bike, and/or run race in 2015 that represents a major challenge for you. It could be anything from an Ironman to your first triathlon or 10k.
  2. Use your race as a fundraiser for the Blazeman Foundation. The BMF fundraises for research to cure ALS in memory of Jon “Blazeman” Blais, the first (and only) person with ALS to finish an Ironman unaided. You are asked to fundraise at least $250 using your own page (I can help) or directing people to mine. Beyond the obvious goal of raising money to find a cure for ALS, fundraising through your friends and family can be a huge boost on race day — mentally drawing on their support when you’re struggling and celebrating with them afterwards. It’s also not a bad way to hold yourself accountable during training…
  3. Sign up here by January 15th so I know what you’re doing and when it is. It’s okay if I don’t know you (yet).
  4. Then…get out there and enjoy the journey.
In return, I will send some encouragement along the way and a little care package ahead of your race. You’ll also have the opportunity to do a guest post or race report on this blog to share your experience. It isTeam Drea, after all 🙂

I know this challenge isn’t for everyone. Many of you have young children, busy jobs, health issues, other priorities.  I get it and that’s totally fine. But if you’ve been thinking about a big goal this year and just need a reason, consider yourself nudged 🙂 In the immortal words of SBM:

“You can do this. You GET to do this.”

Wishing you a year of peace, happiness, and good surprises in 2015,
Andrea

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