This thing is taking a lot of preparation!

I will have another post tomorrow, and it will involve getting yelled at by a flock of parrots, petting a giant sea turtle, and avoiding angry iguanas, all while purposely avoiding an open bar.

But for today, I wanted to cover how difficult  time-consuming preparing for fund-raisers like this is. I won’t say difficult, because as long as something remains a passion, it is not really difficult, but boy, it can be a lot of work.

Here’s the run down:

  1. Training. As the first sentence, above, indicates, even when you are technically in a place where you are supposed to be relaxing, you still have to find time to train. And training to hike pretty much requires you to consistently hike, every day. Nothing quick about it.
  2. Telling everyone you know, and everyone you think might be able to help spread the word, about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This can border a fine line of prideful self-importance, but something like this won’t succeed without widespread awareness. There is also a little bit of anxiety in that now I don’t want to let anyone down, particularly after anteing up with such a large commitment.
  3. Preparation. This is different than training. This is making sure it is okay to hike where you plan on hiking, making sure you can have the time off work you need, and making sure all the resources required for safety and success are at hand. This part is a lot less glamorous than the tooting of one’s own horn.
  4. Maintaining everything else. This is the toughest part. I still need to perform at work, and I still have a family that deserves the same level of love, appreciation and attention (or more!) than they had before I elected to take on this task.

The last one, #4, is the real rub, and now that I’m in the thick of this, with a 50 miler less than 2 weeks away, I wonder how other people managed to maintain their lives when they took on a thing like this.

I know I could not even contemplate doing this without the support of my family, specifically my wife, Mary. Here’s a shot of her from a hiking trip we took in 1990 right after I got back from boot camp. We were in the Ramapo Mountains, heading up to the abandoned mansion (you North Jerseyans will probably know what I’m talking about) and it was blissful. Maybe we can do the Cannonball Trail this summer, right through there. We’ll see.

Now, she is the glue that holds everything together, and she was the one who laid out what this would mean ahead of time. I had this bright idea, and she supported me, and due to her foresight, we weren’t surprised by what has changed. So I want to take the time to thank the one person that really makes this possible. Her love for my father (he liked her more than me!) and commitment to his legacy are truly important factors in my ability to get this done.

Just to prove I’m not making her up, I’m providing photographic evidence. Here we are in 1990; I was just a Pfc.

And here we are last year:

I am clearly twice the Marine I used to be, but she looks just the same, maybe even better.

Thanks Mary


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