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Redefining Success & An Adventure

In 2015, I met Noah Williams and his mom, Naomi, in a hotel in Washington, D.C. while helping out with The Kyle Pease Foundation at Marine Corps Marathon. My life's perspective has changed since meeting them. <--BIG understatement

Noah has some significant disabilities, but as he and Naomi prove every. single. day. he is not defined by them. In fact, Noah is redefining what success looks like for everyone who has the pleasure of knowing him. He's a full time student, an accomplished athlete (more races that I can count) and artist. That kid is pure magic and that toothy grin of his is simply the best. 

His mama isn't so bad, either. She allows me to take her kid at any time and literally run without question or hesitation. A great "happenstance" to all of this is that she has become one of my closest friends.

To date, I've completed 2 half marathons with these two and announced my retirement in the middle of each one because running is not my favorite <-- A MASSIVE understatement. **Side note: we will be doing our 3rd half in March...three years in a row, baby! 



That's because Noah and Naomi ALWAYS bring me back.

I've been wanting to give more of myself physically to this foundation that I love so much. To lend my body to someone who will, undoubtedly, lend me their sweet spirit to push me through.

I thought I wanted to do a half Ironman because that's what "we" as a foundation do. This awesome group of athletes are just that: kick ass athletes and I wanted to fit in with them somehow. But realistically, a half Ironman or even a triathlon (something I have yet to do) would have been an incredibly difficult feat at this point in my life. I would have set myself up for failure. I realized I can't compare myself to what other people are doing or have done...

Then in October came a meeting with a man from Fort Collins who talked about providing adventures for those with disabilities and it clicked! A bike ride! A long, mountainous (I hate climbing!) bike ride. Why not take advantage of this gorgeous state I live in, these stupid long legs and the sport that I really love: CYCLING.

It's the first time in a very long time, that I am excited about the possibility of pushing myself to MY limits. It finally feels right. And when it came to deciding on an athlete, Noah naturally came to mind.

This is another way to redefine success. For both of us really. For him, it's to show the world that with a little adaptation, a kid from Augusta, Georgia can do a multi day bike ride in the mountains of Colorado. For me, it's to prove to myself that I can dig in and really do something again. 

We will, of course, be doing this in support of the Kyle Pease Foundation with the hope to raise awareness and the financial resources for all of the adventures (including ours!) that they provide for athletes just like Noah.

You'll see several posts about this in the coming months as we figure out logistics and I focus on training. That's started, BTW....and it is not pretty but it's being done and that, in itself, is a victory!

Here's the ask: take a look at our Crowdrise Fundraising Page. If you can, please give your financial support to help get us there. If you can't, then I ask that you help spread the word....especially as we get closer to "A" Day...("A" is for "ADVENTURE"!).


Finally, if you have questions about how we're going to do this or about Noah or about The Kyle Pease Foundation, please reach out! I'm still figuring things out myself, so ask away.

Alright. It's out there. LET'S DO THIS!


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Event Recap: A Novel

This will be a long one. 

Mostly, for me. I want to savor every moment of what was the biggest physical (and emotional) challenge I've taken on. I want to relish this great accomplishment. If you're into small novels, sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or wine depending on the time of day) and come with me back through Helen & Noah's BIG Adventure.

First, I have to say that our team of people was INCREDIBLE. I couldn't have asked for a better, more perfect group of humans. They played every "role" perfectly. I'll name them and give a general description of what they were around to do. However, I cannot possibly describe them or what they gave me any further. Simply put: I wouldn't have gotten through this without each of them.

Naomi - Noah's Mom
Stacy - my coach
Peter - mechanic/sherpa/human compass
Josh & Nic - our film crew

Day 1: The Intro
We got Noah into the trailer and learned quickly that zip ties would be our friends during this process. We a…

Dismissal.

This Saturday I'll take on my 3rd half marathon. My 3rd ever and the 1st where I won't be pushing someone else. 

I'm not too pumped about this fact because I don't like doing things solo, but I'm doing it anyway and there's a very specific reason why:


I made the commitment to both Noah and his mom to lend this kid my body this year, so that's what I'm going to do. No backsies.

I am no athlete, though. It's another (sometimes annoying) thing that people seem to not believe when they look at my stature. Well, BELIEVE it. Happy to connect you with any of my former athletic coaches or team mates who can vouch for that fact.

Knowing this hasn't helped the mental part of this process. That's the biggest factor in all of this for me - the mental part. My coach reminds me that the fitness will come, and it is. It's not easy, but progress is being made. It's the mental toughness that I'm most worried about. 

Lately, there's been this dismi…

DO.

We have 30 days. I can't believe it.

This journey has been so eye opening on every front. The training has been the easiest (cannot believe I'm saying that). The mental part the toughest (that's not surprising in the least). And the financial part harder than I thought.

We are halfway to our $10,000 goal and that scares me since we are so close. It's easy for people to like, love and share things on social media for us, which I so appreciate. We live in a time when "good deed" and cute animal videos are shared all over the place as palette cleansers for what's going on in this sometimes scary world we live in. The issue that I'm finding since I'm living it, is that there is no genuine connection. Watch this video for 2 mins. Get teary, LOVE it, share it, go drink coffee. Repeat. 

I'm guilty of this myself.

It's easy to glaze over it. And when I say "it" in this particular instance, I mean our story and our goal: to help provide exper…