I did it. I joined The Team. Now that I'm "in the know," I'll let you guys know how the process works.
First you go to an informational meeting. They explain a lot about the system, where the money goes, how to train, and how to fund raise. Emphasis is placed on how daunting of a task it is to raise as much money as they want us to. However, they give several examples of how doable it is to raise the money if you're willing to put in the effort.
I was convinced. Then I saw the number after the dollar sign. It was big. Huge. Monumental. I almost fell out of my chair -- seriously. The amount? $4800. At the point I saw the number, I thought "there's no way, I could possibly do that!"
They explained further, because I'm sure what I was thinking is the same thing thousands of people have thought before me. As a result, they have a nice thing called the recommitment date. On this day (March 21st) you finally decide if you're in or out. You can look at how well the fund raising is going compared to how much time is left. At this point, you fully commit. If you say you're in and you can't raise the money, you owe them the difference. However, if you say you're out the money still goes towards leukemia research. But it still gives a few months to get a handle on fund raising and see just how doable it is -- or isn't. Once I heard about this 'feature' of their system, I decided I was in.
Today was also their kick off meeting, it was directly after the informational meeting; there are several informational meetings leading into one kick off meeting, so there were a LOT of people there. I would say around 80-90. During this we got to meet our honorable heroes, teammates, mentors, and coaches. They really do have a great support system setup. They want us to succeed.
We talked about fund raising techniques. We talked about training. We socialized. Took team pictures. Got free stuff. I'm in college, I like free stuff!
During our talk about training, my coach (who also happens to be my swim coach) introduced me as "an accomplished runner," which was nice! As an "accomplished runner," I volunteered myself to offer advice on anything running related to anybody on the Team. I was met with many, many grateful faces; apparently people are afraid of it (little do they know, its that tricky water sport to be afraid of)! I hope they take full advantage of my offer; you know how much I enjoy talking about running!
The Team is great. You should join. But I'm going to give you an easy way out. You don't have to raise money. You don't have to train for a triathlon (but you can if you want to). You don't have to sign any paperwork, or even try to make practice.
Here is what you have to do: donate. By donating, I consider you part of my team. Part of a team fighting leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Part of a team that has changed the childhood survival rate of leukemia from 4% to 80%. Part of a team that is saving lives. The research in these blood related cancer can be related back to all other kinds of cancer, too, so the number of lives you can impact is astronomical.
My donation webpage is not fully updated, but it is online. Update: The website is up to date! TNT Alumni, let me know if you see room for improvement! Those of you reading this blog know why to donate; if you don't, simply wait until I get it going. Then you'll know why.
If you're up for donating, here is the URL: http://www.active.com/donate/tntky/relentless
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate anything you can give. Whether it be a dollar, ten, a hundred or more, every bit helps!