“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” -Louisa May Alcott
It’s a cherished yet discounted thing we do, breathing. Something that we don’t think of until we struggle to do so. Unfortunately, there are many people who are constantly reminded that deep breaths of fresh air are not to be taken for granted. However, it’s not a losing battle, thanks to the hard work of the American Lung Association and US.
For those of you who know me, my life revolves around my family, health, wellness and the pursuit of peace. On any given weekend you will likely find me outdoors. If it isn’t hiking, you will find me paddling, skiing or gardening (depending on the time of year.) My passion for the mountains began at an early age, but has grown fiercely over the last few years. I feel most at peace yet most alive in the mountains, and my dream is to climb one (or a few.) That is why I have chosen to start the adventure that is mountaineering and with it an additional tremendous opportunity to give back.
I have the wonderful privilege to combine two of my passions into one great event. I am joining with the American Lung Association in their Climb for Clean Air - Reach the Summit program. I have committed to raise at least $4,250 by April 30th of this year and soon after my team of climbers will go for the summit of Mount Rainier.
One of the biggest parts of my profession as a yoga instructor is reminding students how to BREATHE and also guiding them through different breathing techniques depending on what goals or challenges they are currently working through. But, as I said earlier, something that is so important yet necessary doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy for everybody. This fundraiser is especially important to me because I have personal experience with lung disease. My grandfather and my mother both suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.) Not only my mother and grandfather, but I personally suffer from lung disease.
I was diagnosed with asthma at a very young age and have had many struggles. My airways are often inflamed, narrow and swollen and I am always battling mucous and trying to breathe. I’ve spent many a day at the doctor’s office, respiratory therapist and/or immunologist to help me breathe and get over constant, persistent respiratory infections that have actually resulted in scar tissue in my lungs. I used to have a nebulizer at home so that I could receive daily breathing treatments and I have carried an inhaler with me for as long as I can remember. When I was in middle school, my respiratory therapist told me I would likely never be able to run or lead a particularly active lifestyle. So, I’ve spent a lot of life struggling to breath, but also pushing myself to prove him wrong.
We need the American Lung Association, and they need us. I am excited to be a part of the event and to be rising the $4,250. I’m also excited to give you the opportunity to help me be successful in this adventure. Any amount of contribution will be gratefully accepted and sharing on social media is greatly appreciated. If you donate $100 or more, you will receive a picture of my summit and a special “Thank You” note. If you own a business or think that your employer would like to donate, I would love the opportunity to speak with you!
You can make a donation by sending a check made out to the American Lung Association to me at:
PO Box 753
Woodland, WA 98674
Or click the link.
Thank you SO much for considering a donation to my climb and the American Lung Association. And remember, ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
Candace A Weisser
P.S. Make a bigger impact and save more lives by seeing if those you work for will match your gift! If so, I will carry a small banner with your company name or logo to the summit for a photo! Speak to your Human Resources department today.
Self Doubt and Baby Steps
It has been a couple of weeks since committing to fundraise and climb for the American Lung Association, so I wanted to share how this amazing journey is shaping up!
First things first: I have reached 25% of my $4,250 in just a few weeks and it is because of all of the generous donations from YOU! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I understand that it is hard work to make a buck and that you could be spending that money on bills, family necessities or things that you would like, but instead you are donating your hard earned money to my fundraiser for the American Lung Association! Seeing the donations trickle in and the generosity of friends and family has made my heart swell with appreciation and love. If you haven't had a chance to donate yet and you are able to, please do. Every little bit helps and it all adds up! I also appreciate all of the likes and shares. I know that sharing things on social media can be awkward, but your shares can be as valuable as your donations!
I have been met with so much support and kindness from most of the people that mean the most in my life, and for that I am beyond thankful. I have also noticed some indifference and even negativity, and that is ok too. Yes, I am doing another fundraiser. Yes, I (most of the time) think that I can climb a mountain. Even if it is one of the tallest, most glaciated peaks in the contiguous U.S. Yes, I am beyond crazy. But, it is for an amazing cause that is quite literally close to my heart AND maybe, just maybe, I will accomplish something that I have dreamt of for years.
On the subject of self doubt. I live with self doubt every single day. Lately I have felt a mountain of self doubt. Actually, a 14,411 ft, $4,500 mountain of self doubt on top of my normal, every day self doubt. And, every day I hush it with a quote that creeps in to my mind: "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." (Suzy Kassem) And, I ask myself "How am I going to do this." And from the same place that quote creeps in from, a crack of light says "One foot in front of the other. Step by step. Even if it is baby steps. Just keep climbing." So, here I am...chugging along.
A P.C. Cast quote has been popping up as well: " I seek strength, not to be greater than another, but to fight my greatest enemy, the doubts within myself." Although our training hikes don't start until the end of February, I actually started training before I even went to the info session because my goal was to climb a mountain.
I've been getting up before the sun a few times a week to run and have been taking advantage of living in a very hilly area. In addition to teaching 6-8 yoga classes a week, I have been practicing 2-3 times a week and have been taking a lot of advanced asana classes. I've also pulled the weight training bench and my free weights out and have been rowing, squatting and lifting often. I've been trying to get to the rock gym every week because... I love climbing.
And hiking. I swear, my list of dream hikes grows every day, but that is great because I signed up for the 52 hike challenge. Thus far, I am on 4/52. Honestly, most of them have barely been hikes, but my last one was decently challenging. Hiking 4 ? miles and climbing 1,300 feet in the bitter cold and wind while wearing/carrying 30 pounds will make you feel strong at the end of the day. And sore the next.
Much like running, mountaineering is just as much mental as it is physical. The knowledge, skill, gear and mental wherewithal required are astounding. So, just as often as I have been training physically, I have been gaining as much knowledge and developing new skills every chance I get. In my current repertoire are a mountaineering book, backpacker magazine, gear reviews, articles about avalanches and alpinism and a lot of classes that I am hoping to get to in addition to the avalanche awareness class that I am going to this evening.
Between Momming 2 toddlers and 2 dogs, teaching, housekeeping, being a wife, serving on the board of directors of a non-profit, planning events, training, being a friend and caring for myself, I am BUSY! But, I am so thankful for each role that I play and I am beyond grateful for all of the generosity and support that I have received to play a role in this herculean task! I feel strong, alive, and excited. And, all though I may have self doubt, I remind myself that I am worthy and capable and that all I have to do is continue putting one foot in front of the other. Just keep climbing.
by Candace Weisser on Fri, Jan 18, 2019 @ 3:48 PM
I've loved the mountains for as long as I can remember. Snow and sun. Day and Night. My mother taught me how to ski at a young age, and my love affair grew stronger. Mount Whitney. Mount Shasta. Mount Ashland. Hood. Bachelor. Saint Helens. Rainier. McKinley. And don't even get me started on the Alps. Or the Dolomites. Or the Rockies. I've never met a mountain I didn't lovel.
Growing up, I was told that I "could never do that." That I would never accomplish anything. And it is something I've carried with me to this day. But, I have also proven time and time again that "I Can". Moving out at 16. Graduating. Working in the beauty industry, the restaurant industry, and the health and wellness industry. Running, and not just running but working my way up to half marathons, a marathon and Hood To Coast. Meeting my person. Having babies. Buying a house. All of these things were things I was told I would never accomplish because I wasn't worthy.
For my 30th birthday, all I wanted was to hike Mount Rainier National Park and also Colchuck in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The moment the mountain (Rainier) came in to vision, I lost my breath. The moment we got on the Skyline Loop Trail, I lost my breath. Time and Time again. There were many points during that hike that I looked up, captivated by her majesty, and thought "I'm going to climb you someday!."
Fast forward 2 ? years and many hikes and small mountain summits later, and I'm still in awe. And, now more than ever, I'm feeling called to mountaineering. The mountains, specifically the top of mountains are the place that I feel most alive, most free and most at peace. I crave the mountains. Luckily, I found this amazing opportunity. Having grown up with asthma and struggled my entire life with respiratory illness, the American Lung Association's mission resonates deeply.
So, I saw an information session and hubby and I decided to make a date night out of it. After, we both decided that we wanted to do this as a team! BUT, sadly, after giving it some thought, we decided that due to the inherent risk in climbing (especially a climb of this technicality and scale) and the fact that we have young children, we decided only one of us could climb. Not only that, but raising $4,000 is going to be hard enough let alone the gear needed for a climb of this stature. SO, while we are still operating as a team in terms of training and fundraising, only I will be climbing. I almost decided not to do it and felt immense sadness and guilt about not getting to climb with my partner.
Thus far, I've started going out on morning runs, I've started lifting weights and I've continued my commitment to growing my asana (yoga) practice. I have also paid my $150 entrance fee, signed a statement of financial commitment and have donated $100. Not only that, but I've started researching and buying the gear that I need to make this ship sail.
I am SO excited. And SO anxious. And Slightly terrified. This is a big COMMITMENT. Financially. Time Wise. Physically. And, also incredibly vulnerable to share my story. What led me to this point all the way to the day of the climb. The challenges and struggles as well as the triumphs. I look forward to every minute of it, and I hope you continue to support me by donating, sharing and following this trek!
by Candace Weisser on Sun, Jan 06, 2019 @ 6:38 PM