Hello friends, family, and all who have found their way to this page!
This is my second year participating in the Climb for Clean Air program. Last year, after months of training, I made my way to the top of Mt. Hood at 11,250 feet. And I was hooked. This year, I am aiming to climb Mt. Rainier at 14,411 feet, pending weather and the mountain's blessing. There are a few reasons why I have chosen to participate in this program again. The first is that when I joined last year, I didn't really have a close connection to lung disease. No one in my family had been affected and at the time I didn't know anyone close to me who was affected. But through the program, I became friends with people who were affected or who'd had family members that were, either by lung cancer, asthma, or other lung-related ailments. I got to train and climb with those people and hear their stories and it was an honor. So although I cared about air quality (and still do!) and would love for everyone to quit smoking cigarettes, participating in the program last year brought everything closer to home. I got to see firsthand how much this program means to so many people, but also how important the fundraising aspect is and all the programs that this money supports.
Participating in the program again this year also has some near and dear meaning for me, related to personal goals and challenges that I've been working through. For the past five or so years, I've been dealing with chronic low back and SI joint pain. I struggled through the training last year due to this, and had trouble recovering after every training hike. After summiting Mt. Hood, I then seriously strained my hip flexor to the tune of hobbling around for weeks. I finally decided to try harder to get to the bottom of the pain. Since August, I've been on that journey, although now I feel I am on the uphill side. I've been working really hard in physical therapy and plan to train a lot and well, so that I have the best chance of making the summit. Last year I got through the training by sheer will and despite the pain and discomfort that had become a part of my day to day life. I say all this knowing how lucky I am to be so healthy, but I say it also because we each have our own challenges and this is sure to be a real challenge for me, AGAIN. Mt. Rainier is a bigger mountain than Mt. Hood, but I'm ready for the challenge. This time around I am more prepared for the mental aspect, but in some ways I feel like I'm physically starting from scratch. But, I'm also feeling like I have a new body to work with, one not hindered by an out of place SI joint, and that is exciting! I'm pledging to bust my butt, work hard and train well in order to climb this mountain as a healthier and stronger version of myself and to raise ever important funds for the ALA!
And that, my friends, is where you come in. The Climb for Clean Air is a fundraising climb and I'm required to raise $4,250. I can't do this without your help. Any contribution will be greatly appreciated, and I would be so grateful if you would share my fundraising link with your family and friends who might also be interested in supporting the cause. I know for a fact, having been through the program once, that this is a program full of amazing humans and I am so happy to be back supporting the mission of the ALA.
If you're wondering why all this important...well, chances are you know someone who has faced the challenges of asthma, COPD, lung cancer, or air pollution. By making a donation on my behalf, no matter how small or large, you will be helping the American Lung Association provide community based education programs, fight for cleaner air standards and fund life-saving research. You will be helping to make a positive difference for all of the parents who have a child with asthma, the people who struggle daily with COPD and the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children and friends who get diagnosed with lung cancer. Donations are tax-deductible and will make a difference in the lives of many Americans who struggle to breathe! Also, the ALA has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. It's the highest rating an organization can get!
Donations can be made online by clicking on the link to the right of this message. Or, if you’d prefer to send a check, let me know and we can work that out. Let’s make sure everyone can benefit from healthy lungs and clean air!
I will be starting my training in mid-February, the Mt. Rainier climb is July 15-18, and I will keep you all posted as I get myself in shape for the climb! It's sure to be a challenge (again) and I hope you can follow along!
You can follow training hikes and updates on my Instagram: @alittle_loves and I will post updates here as well.
Thank you for all your support. I am truly grateful!