Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Team Drea Challenge 2015

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.


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,


  1. Andrea - I'm in - somehow! But how do I participate in an event and raise money for the Foundation? The only events I know about are the Cancer fundraising walking events I've participated in before, which raise money for their groups only. Can you guide me to something?

    1. That's great, Marianne! You would just find an event you want to do (the BMF doesn't have to be the charity recipient). Then either set up a page on Active.com to benefit the Blazeman Foundation (like mine: http://www.active.com/donate/teamblazeman/teamdrea -- I can help you with that) or you can just tell people to go to my page. Whichever you prefer. Unlike some other events I know you've done, you're not on the hook for the $250 -- I'm asking people to fundraise with their friends and family and to aim for at least that much. That's all :) Focus on finding the event you want to do and I'll work with you to set it up :)

    2. Dear Andrea,
      We share something else with you...hearing a triathlete tell us they got into the sport because of Jon till warms our heart...as bittersweet as it is...so we know and share the feelings you have...it is what we have...
      Never did we imagine you coming into our lives...so much in common with Jon...who would have thought that!
      We love your spirit...Jon's foundation is very grateful and humbled by your support...we may be small but not a penny wasted. Bob and I send warm wishes and much love to you and DP!!
      Mary Ann and Bob,
      Jon's mom and dad

  2. Dear "alswarriorpoet #179"..."Mo...chuisle"...I understand your spirit...and through and with you, they will also follow their bliss...with you in strength, honor and commitment...FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!! (from ALS), "the-blazeman", (alswarriorpoet-spirit).

  3. I'm in! Just signed up for the Potomac Run Half Marathon =)

    1. Whoa!! That's great, Carissa! Way to take on a big goal! I can't wait to support you on this :)

  4. I was one of the dancers (with my trekking poles. wasn't a pretty sight, but I love to dance)at the Rambling Rose in Chapel Hill waiting for you to finish. Seeing u turn the corner brought instant tears of happiness.
    Your husband, earlier in the race, came and introduced himself to me. That is when I knew u were in the RR. I instantly was so proud of u!! u are MY inspiration!!
    I've had MS for 16 yrs. I did the swim leg of the race and had friends do the bike and run. Seeing u, with ur trekking poles finish the race, with ur legs barely working, I knew then that I too can do it.
    My goal for 2015 is to swim AND walk with my trekking poles(btw, I also have used them for a few yrs now. They help with squats and lunges. Got to modify.
    I've signed up for the RR in Raleigh. I will be doing the swim and walk(maybe crawl, hehehe). Next goal is to do the whole tri.
    I am a very optimistic person. I believe the next 2 yrs research will succeed to finding answers that will help us regain some of what we have loss.
    Rock on...
    I look forward to reading ur blogs:-)
    My mantra is....
    your fellow fighter

    1. Hi Tatiana!! So lovely to hear from you! My husband told me he met you and Amy (the race director) told me about you too :) I LOVE that you are going for the swim and walk parts of RR Raleigh. And now that they have made the bike course easier, that should help you in 2016…that course was HARD.

      Anyway, I am proud of you and I can't imagine dealing with MS for 16 years. That's a different kind of struggle, so I'm inspired by YOU!!

      Thanks for the tip on the trekking poles. I hadn't used them very much before the race or since. I should pull them out again. The cane hasn't been cutting it and I switched to a walker. Completing a tri with a walker?! Lawdy, no :)

      Keep in touch! Keep fighting the good fight!! All the best to you in 2015! :)


  5. Hello friends, my name is Charlotte Simoes i want to testify on how i was cured of my Als by herbal doctor Iyabiyetayese, i have suffered from Als for years and have been to different hospitals for cure but all effort was in vain. so while i was on net i saw so many testimony's about doctor Iyabiyetayese on how he cured so many diseases and virus so i decide to contact the said doctor and explain to him about my Als so he promise to cure me after all arrangements have been made he prepared the herbs and sent to me in my country and i took it behold i was totally cured,now i'm happy to testify that i'm cured of my Als, so if you are suffering from Als and you want a total cure contact doctor Iyabiyetayese on doctoriyabiyetayese@gmail.com or call him on (+2347052619450).


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.