Helping Boston’s Victims

Without a doubt, you’ve likely seen a tremendous outpouring of support for Boston and the victims of the horrific attack last week.  There are so many people who were impacted and injured it’s almost unbelievable. 

All last week – and even as we headed into this week, local running clubs all over the country (and perhaps world) were holding solidarity runs for Boston.  People ran to honor those injured and killed. 

While each of those impacted certainly is worthy of being honored, I fear that so many of those impacted will have a greater burden to bear.  The sheer monetary cost of the crime will be difficult for many to overcome.  I can only imagine how staggering the medical bills and costs for ongoing care will be for the most injured.  Far too many will incur huge medical bills.  Many will be out of work due to their injuries.

There has been no shortage of fundraising efforts, either.  The One Fund was established as one way to get funds to the victims.  Announced earlier this week by Massachusetts Governor Patrick and Boston Mayor Merino, the fund was seeded with a $1,000,000 committment from John Hancock.

Closer to home, the triathlon community is stepping up to support victims of the bombing.

Rev3 Triathlon announced yesterday that it was partnering with the city of Knoxville and the University of Tennessee Athletic Department and will be donating all proceeds from the Revolution3 Glow Run 5k – which will be held on Friday evening, May 3rd – to help fund the treatment and recovery of a former UT swimmer, Nicole Gross.

Nicole was near the finish line with her husband and a friend when the bombs went off.  She suffered a catastrophic leg injury – and has had at least seven surgeries already.  Her sister was also critically injured.

If you’re planning on being in Knoxville for Rev3’s race that weekend, hopefully you’ll consider also running in the Glow Run 5k on Friday night.  If you’re not able to race – or aren’t even going to Knoxville for the weekend, please consider making a direct donation to help Nicole with her medical bills.  You can contribute directly at

I’m encouraging you to help support those affected by this tragedy.  Please consider supporting Rev3’s efforts to raise money for Nicole.  Please make a donation to the One Fund.  I know that I’m going to do both.


A Little About Charcot Marie Tooth Disease

Getting ready to go for a run sporting my Charcot Marie Tooth Association shirt + Rev3 Knoxville visor. Click on image to go to CMTA site

Imagine having numbness in your feet or hands.  As if they fell asleep.  It’s hard to use your extremities.  They hurt.  They may cramp due to the numbness.  Now imagine if this didn’t just happen if you sat on your foot wrong or slept on your arm wrong.  Imagine if you had to deal with this all day, every day.

Numbness is one symptom of a genetic nerve disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth Disorder.

You may not have heard of it – and quite frankly, 90 days ago I never had, either.  That’s not uncommon.  And neither is this disorder.  Charcot Marie Tooth is one of the most common nerve-related disorders, and it’s inherited.  In fact, about 1 in 2500 people have CMT.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, symptoms include foot deformity (such as extremely high arches), foot drop (the inability to hold a foot horizontal), loss of lower leg muscle, numbess in foot or leg, a “slapping” gate, or generalized weakness in the legs.  Symptoms can also appear in the hands – including having a “claw-like” hand appearance.  Generally, CMT begins to rear its ugly head in adolescence or early adulthood.

Right now, there’s no cure for CMT.  Folks with CMT often have to wear orthopaedic braces.  Physical therapy and occupational therapy are common.  In the worst cases, patients often have surgery to correct foot deformities and alleviate pain.

As you’d suspect, there’s tons of research going on to find a cure for CMT.  There’s also lots of resources on the web that provide information on CMT.

I’m proud to share that one group, the Charcot Marie Tooth Association, focuses 100% of their time, energy, and funds to supporting those with CMT.  They offer resources, information, connections to doctors and other patients.

I’d encourage you to visit the CMTA website to learn more about CMT.  If you’re inclined, please make a donation to support this worthy cause.


Mumblings on a Monday 8

Feeling a little grumpy today, but also know that it’s t-minus 5 days until vacation!

  • Spouse running:  I really enjoy running (or cycling) with my wife.  Not because she really challenges me (I’m much faster than her), but because it’s very cool to be out and sharing something like a run or a bike ride together that is fun.  Yesterday, we took a late afternoon run together.  We chatted, we told a few jokes, we ran silently.  It was perfect.  Perhaps the funniest part of the run was when she almost jumped into my arms upon seeing a dead armadillo on the side of the road.  It was bloated and covered with flies.  I think it literally scared the crap out of her!  Armadillos must rank pretty low on the circle of life grocery list – as even the omnipresent vultures seemingly wanted nothing to do with this guy.
  • What are these Hunger Games?  I have to admit that before Friday evening, I had no clue what the Hunger Games were.  All three of my kids (plus my wife) have read this series – but I chalked it up to another version of the Twilight series – which I could not stomach.  Friday evening, I took my oldest daughter and seven of her friends to see the movie – and was pleasantly surprised.  So much so, that over the weekend I read the first and second books in the series, and I’m a good distance into the third.  While the Hunger Games are really geared towards young adults/teens, the prose is actually pretty good – and the broader concepts in the book (dystopian society, rebellion, kids killing kids, etc) are actually very compelling.  Have you read the series?  Which was your favorite book?  Are you on Team Peeta or Team Gale?  I don’t know how this all ends yet – so don’t ruin it for me.
  • A Driving Weekend:  I spent more hours in my vehicle this weekend than I care to imagine.  My son and I drove to Fort Pierce – a town in southern Florida – for an all-star swim meet.  He did well, dropping time in one event.  He was on a relay that had a chance to make a run at the national age group record…but they came up just short.  He was really pleased with how he swam, especially knowing that he was two weeks post peak and has been trying to hold a taper for almost a month now.  Short course swim season is officially over; he’ll start prepping for long-course in about two weeks. 
  • Runners set!  BANG!  And they’re off…..Rev3’s Run Across America has started.  Last night around midnight PT, the crew started their 3100 mile run from Oceanside, CA to Washington, DC.  Check out the Rev3 website for blog updates.  There will also be updates on Facebook and Twitter.  Today, my VIRTUAL Run starts.  I’ll be running for the next 21 days.
  • Rev3 is about to expand:  You may have seen the announcement on Facebook….Rev3 is getting ready to announce a new race for 2013.  I know where it is, but can’t tell you (the announcement will go live tomorrow, I think)….suffice it to say that the location is GREAT!  It certainly fits into the family-friendly mission of the franchise.  Very exciting!

Have a great week!

Fighting the Good Fight Against Cancer

We all hate cancer. In fact, there’s absolutely nothing to like about that disease.  At it’s best, it’s a drain on our emotions as we grapple with the concept of friends or loved ones who are sick or have died.  At it’s worst, it hits us personally, making us sick – or worse – putting us on a short track towards our own mortality.

The uplifting thing is that because of the sheer nastiness of this disease, people all over the globe come together to do really spectacular things to fight cancer, to support those who currently have or have survived from cancer, and research the best ways to kill this nemis.

There are two events that you should have on your radar:

Revolution 3 Triathlon’s Run Across America

As I’ve noted here, and here, and here and here, Rev3 Tri is running across America to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF).  UCF supports young adults who have had cancer by providing resources, information, and educational opportunities.  Rev3 is looking to raise a boat-load of money ($100,000) to support UCF, and there’s still a long way to go — both in terms of miles and needed dollars.  The run starts in just 13 days; I’ll be “virtually” participating – by running 21 days in a row here in Florida while the team runs 21 days in a row across the country.  So far, Rev3 has raised about $20,000, hence your support is urgently needed.  Please click on the image below to make a contribution.  Any amount will do.  Your company may even match your donation.  I know times are tough on folks – but trust me….this is a GREAT cause to put your money towards.

Eggers versus Armstrong – 50 yard Kick-Off

Mary Eggers is a triathlon coach that lives and works in the Rochester, NY area.  You may recall that she was one of the coaches that participated in, and advised me during, the development of my blog series called “Triathlon Coaching Options” (see link to the right if you’d like to download the e-book of that series).

Well, last week Mary did something that we’d all love to do.  She called out Lance Armstrong.  Seriously…what the hell was she thinking?  Not only did she call him out by challenging him to a pool kick-off, she totally threw down the gauntlet and said that she was going to chick him!  (Click here for her blog post with the challenge).  We’ve seen tons of various athlete challenges over the years – and typically they never see the time of day.

This challenge is different.

Mary didn’t just challenge Armstrong out of her desire to own him in a pool – she challenged him so she could raise awareness and funds for a group called Teens Living With Cancer.  Eggers wanted to raise $1000 to help fund a fitness program targeted at teens recovering from cancer. 

Challenge accepted.

Armstrong jumped on board with gusto, and further upped the ante.  The new fundraising goal?  $100,000.  They, too, have a long way to go to raise the required funds.

Click the image below to learn more about the challenge and learn how to donate to support this great cause.  Mary will have a fundraising website up and running in a few days.  Of course, I’d like to see Mary raise the money – but I’d also love to see her kick Armstrong’s butt in the pool.

Thanks so much for considering both of these very worthy endeavors.  If you’d like to participate in the virutual Run Across America, let me know.  It’s really easy to participate!

I’m Fighting Cancer…

…And I need your help.

Before you go and freak out and start praying for me, let me be upfront and say that although I am fighting cancer, I don’t have cancer.

I’m joining up with Rev3 Tri to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF).  You see, beginning on March 26, Rev3 will be RUNNING ACROSS AMERICA on behalf of UCF.  The goal?  Raise $100,000.  While I won’t be part of the caravan that is actually running across the country, I’ll be doing my part by participating in a virtual run.  I’m committing to running each and every day that the Rev3 crew is on the road – at least 21 days.  In that time, I will run no less than 100 miles.

Here’s where I need your help.

Make a donation:  Please make a donation to UCF on my behalf.  It’s REALLY easy.  Just click the picture below and you’ll be taken to Rev3’s donation portal.  Actually completing the donation is simple.  You fill out a little information, pick me (Joel Strickland) on the 2nd page where it asks you the person you’re donating on behalf of, enter your credit card info and you’re done.  Any amount is wonderful.  $1.00 per mile that I’m going to run.  $1.00 per day.  $50.00.  $1000.00.  Whatever.  You can even set up 12 recurring payments so you can give a huge amount by breaking it down into bite-sized chunks.  It’s all good, and goes to an amazing cause.

Run with me:  I’m forming a virtual team to do the run along with me.  Join in the fun.  Commit to running each and every day that Rev3 is out there, and be willing to log your miles.  Help in fundraising.  We’ll be competing against other virtual teams for the chance to win FREE ENTRY FOR FIVE to one of Rev3’s races as well as other goodies from Rev3’s sponsors.  Now that’s an awesome deal!  I’ll take care of all the administrative stuff (like registering the team and sending in the mileage we all run)….I just need runners!  If you’re interested in running with me, either leave me a comment below or click on here and send me a note.  Please consider running with me!  We’ll have a blast, and it is all for a great cause.

What is the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults?  UCF works hard to support, educate, connect & empower young adult cancer survivors and their families.  You can learn more about UCF here or here.