BENEFITING: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
EVENT: YOUR JOURNEY, YOUR CAUSE
My journey to Ironman Louisville has been three years in the making. Triathlon started as a way for me to get back into shape, but once I crossed the finish line of my first race I knew it was so much more than that. What I have come to appreciate most about training is the uninterrupted time I have to think about my dad. My family lost him on November 8, 2011 to suicide and it was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. While my family and friends have always been incredibly supportive, I found that time spent in the pool, on my bike or on a run brought a sense of peace over me. Triathlons remind me that despite all of the hardships we face in life, we have the ability to endure them.
In honor of my dad's 57th birthday, just two days after IM Louisville, I’m attempting to raise $5,700 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP is the leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Through the AFSP, I was able to find a community of caring individuals that help support me and others.
Hopefully, the AFSP will one day have the funding to drastically reduce the number of suicides each year by raising awareness and eliminating the stigma around mental illness. Suicide causes so much pain for the families, but also for the friends and community and we can’t heal if we aren’t willing to talk about the issues.
I love and miss my dad every day and I hope when October 11 rolls around, I will have the strength to make it across the finish line. Thank you all so much for your love and support.