Chasing that dream has been a long journey. I really can't remember a day that I havent thought about it over teh last decade. But for so long, I didn't listen to that voice and did not chase my dream. I ended up in a place of horrible health. I had reached 300 lbs. Then shortly after, I got literally deathly ill. Spent over a month in hospital and rehab, followed by extreme weakness and 6 months of IV antibotics. On top of all that, I have been in a wheelchair for over 30 years. I could not help but feel like giving up on that dream and forever silencing that voice of hope.
Overall, I have been very blessed in my life in regards to having a disability. I have done so many diffent wheelchair sports and activities. Plus, I overall have been blessed with good health and very little in regards to complication as it relates to having a life long spinal injury. But, that illness a few years back was a true wake up call that I better start taking being healthier serious or else the furtue was bleak at best.
So the journey had begun. That voice was telling me to chase that dream of being an Ironman. To do that 2.4 mile swim, then a 112 mile bike and wrap up the day with a 26.2 mile marathon. On top of that, I do it only with my arms. Crazy? Probably. But, that voice is always telling me that it is possible, to go for it, take on this grand challenge and do it. So, this past year (2014), I took on the challenge of doing a Half Ironman(half of each distance) along with a few shorter triathlons. Man, I can honestly say it was some of the toughest things I have ever done, but I did it. I finished a half Ironman this past summer in Muncie, IN. I still can't believe it. So, now the next step, facing the challenge of taking on a full Ironman Triathlon.
In doing this half, I learned so much. I can and need to train harder. I need to keep losing the weight. I had lost nearly 80 pounds already, but need to get the rest of it off. I an hooking up with a few coaches and training partners to follow a great training plan. Then a big challenge, I need to get better equipment that won't be holding me back in the chasing of this life long dream.
This is where you come in and be part this dream coming true. My equipment is pretty old and heavy. I have a basic touring cruise around the neighborhood style handcycle that has seen better days along with a nearly 20 year old racing chair. All season it was being band aided together to train and finish each event. I even had a huge equipment breakdown in Muncie that nearly ended my race. The difference of finishing this upcoming challenge could be derailed by such old, heavy and oudated equipment. So, here on GoFundMe, I want to upgrade to a used, more up to date and lighter handcycle. A new handcycle could easily cost $6000 and that is a very basic model. I have located a few well maintained and used models that would work very well for me that are right under $4000.
The newer handcycle is what I would use on the bike protion of the Ironman. With its more aerodynamic seating postition along with nearly 15+ pounds lighter, I could easily gain 3-5+ miles per hour. This literally translates to hours over a full Ironman of saved time and energy. In my half Ironman on my older heavier bike, I barely beat the time cutoff by 4 minutes. Plus that was with about 50 minutes of bonus time from an earlier swim wave start. If we had all started together, I would not have been able to finish my Half Ironman. The equipment for me can make that much difference towards being successful.
So, I ask...
Please help me with 2 things...
First, as hard as it is for me to ask, please make a donation and thank you so much for being a part of my team.
Second, Please share this GoFundMe on your Facebook and with your friends. Please encourage their additional support.
All money raised willl go towards equipment and race fees for this upcoming season.
One lesson I did learn this past yeat. That even though I was out there swimming, biking and running, I was not out there alone. I could not have finished any of my events without the support of friends, familiy, volunteeers and all the great sideline supporters cheering me forward. It is hard for me to ask for help, but I have learned that we all truely support each other. Together, we can help each other make all our dreams become realities and victories.
Thanks you so very much,
- Mike Kelly
- Carol Broughton
- Scott Miller
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