Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My First Descents Challenge

First Descents rock-climbing in Moab, Utah
Everyone comes down from cloud nine. Last year I went on a group rock-climbing trip through the nonprofit organization First Descents to Moab, Utah, and it was among my most fun weeks. First Descents’ mission is to “offer young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower…reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.”

On the trip I gained a new favorite hobby, self-discovery and stalwart friends. Afterward, someone posted on our group webpage daily and we were already planning for this year’s trip—called “FD2” for those who attended “FD1” the previous year.

There are still weekly posts on the group webpage. And at least half from my Moab FD1 will return for an FD2 adventure, though only a few others will be on my specific FD2 rock-climbing trip in Estes Park, Colorado, this July 28 through August 3. Life has gotten in the way of our continuous high. The amazing Lings is learning to live with her disease, Lil Wayne has too many new family members, and I suspect others have gotten what they needed out of First Descents.

I understand that feeling. Expecting my FD2 to be as magical as my FD1 would be as unfair as expecting The Ugly Truth’s sequel to be as horrid as the original. But I’m not done with First Descents: there’s still too much climbing left in me.

First Descents gets much of its funding from participants paying it forward. In order to provide first-time participants with a free trip, returning adventurers fundraise by starting a “challenge.” Most challenges are runs or bike races. That’s either because participants lack creativity or they have their bone structure intact.

My hipless skeleton prevents me from that type of challenge, so I’ll stick with what I excel at: getting ripped. I’ll be cutting fat from my body through exercise, determination and mostly suffering. Eliminating my fat makes me feel clean, which I’ve come to understand is one of my most powerful drivers. Cancer and poison and other filth don’t belong in me.

My challenge is to slim back down until my abdominal pinch using body fat calipers is 5 millimeters, or roughly 7% body fat. Right now I’m at 10 millimeters. Please consider contributing to First Descents as I suffer to reach this goal. You can contribute on my Team FD page here.

If you’re on the fence about contributing, then read my story or my friend Ripple’s story about how impactful First Descents is on our lives.