MS150 – A Personal Story

In a little less than one week I will be riding in the MS150 as part of an 8 person team organized by the founder of @hand corp where I work.  Approximately 13,000 riders will participate and raise around $18 million for the National MS Society.

We ride as part of the @hand Endurance Racing Team which was organized to promote personal health and team building outside of the office.  This will be our third year to do the MS150 and I couldn’t be more excited.

Each year I spend a lot of hours on my bike training for the event and each time we ride I spend a lot of time thinking about the motivation for riding.  First, it’s for a great cause as it raises awareness and funds for research related to the disease.

Personally, I know a couple of people affected by MS and I will be thinking about them during the ride.  However, I also wanted to share with you what motivates me to get out of bed when it’s still dark at 6 am on the weekends in sub 50 degree weather to go on a 2-3 hour bike ride.

As a father of two little girls I think a lot about how I want to raise them and the type of people I hope they become.  It’s the ultimate responsibility to raise a child and, right or wrong, I can’t help but feel an extra sense of obligation as their Dad to teach them how to be strong, confident, and independent women.

One thing I learned from my own childhood and observing my kids behavior so far is that they are going to take more from what I do, or who I am, than from whatever I say to them.  It occurred to me that I have to *be* the person I want them to become by living my life in a way which is true to what I believe to be right in my core.  I find this to be a constant challenge and a humbling one on many occasions.  If you’ve even been corrected by a four year old, and realized that they were right, you will understand what I’m talking about (“yes, dear, I should slow down because I’m eating too fast”).  It’s been the most rewarding part of my life so far.

One thing that I believe in is that we, as a member of humankind, need each other to survive and thrive.  No one experiences success on their own and many of us will need help from others at certain times in our lives.  It is my hope that my girls will grow up to be leaders and to seek out ways to take care of others around them.  We challenge ourselves to be better people and to help those who are experiencing challenges in their lives because we all need help eventually.

Writing this blog post and emailing friends and family is a way to raise awareness about a condition that affects all of us every day, directly or indirectly.  It’s the right thing to do and we can all make a difference in someone else’s lives today.  I’m doing this so that one day my children might remember to challenge themselves to do the same.

If you would like to support my efforts I would appreciate if you could share this message with your friends either on Facebook or through email.  The people with MS and the National MS Society would greatly appreciate your donation as well.

You can donate by visiting my donation page by clicking this link.

Thank you for reading this far!  – Chad