Friday, October 11, 2013

in the pink

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, so pink is showing up in a lot of places.  If you watch football on Sundays, you've seen it on shoes, gloves, towels, and even penalty flags (though I've been told that last one is going back to yellow to eliminate confusion). Pink is showing up a lot more in a lot of places.

On the heels of this month, actually in early November, there will be a local fundraiser for breast cancer research.  A local retired newscaster Donna Deegan, has beat breast cancer three times.  She's a runner, and several years ago started a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research being done at the Mayo Clinic.  That thing has grown and now, 26.2 with Donna is a nationally known marathon that runners travel to J'ville for each February.  Thousands of runners participate.

About 5 years ago, she started a different event in November to involve bicyclists, called Bike 26.2 with Donna.  It  It started as a 26.2 mile ride.  After the first year, she realized 26.2 miles on a bike really isn't all that for cyclists.  Anyone who rides regularly can do that without breaking much of a sweat, especially in November.  The next year there was a 52 mile option, lapping the 26.2 mile route twice.  Last year the 52 mile route was completely different from the 26 mile route and this year a 110 mile trip has been added, along with the shorter options.  Most of the fundraising is done though registration fees.  It costs $110 to do the 110 mile ride.  You do, however, have the option of asking friends/neighbors/family to sponsor you to raise more money for the cause.

I started a fundraising page and it just sat there, so I let people at work know I was doing the ride to benefit breast cancer research.  The silence was deafening.  No reaction at all.  I told them I would ride 110 miles for the cause.  Some stifled a yawn.  Some didn't bother to stifle  it.  I think I could say 1000 miles and it wouldn't faze them, even though there's no way I could do that in a day.  They know I ride a lot, and if I mentioned any distance, it would go in one ear and out the other.  I stepped up my game and told them, IF they manage to raise a thousand dollars, I'd do the 110 miles in a pink tutu.  All of a sudden there was movement.  Lumberyard John in a pink tutu?  SURE!  We'll chip in to see THAT!  It's not showing up on the fundraising page yet, but one person has started a cash collection in our department, and they stand a fair chance of meeting the goal.  Big winner, even if they don't get there, will be funding for cancer research.

Full disclosure.  The folks at work have never seen this ride (or for that matter I'm guessing, any other breast cancer fundraising event), and this works in my favor.  People dress up in all manner of pink-ness for the occasion.  I belong to a bicycle club that participates in this ride.  The week before, the women of the club get together and make a bunch of pink tutus and everyone in the club wears one.  I wore one last year.  I will this year regardless of the money raised.  That's just a bonus.  Many people of both sexes wear pink bras over their bike jerseys.  There are lots of pink feather boas and pink sunglasses, and pink....just about everything.  By comparison, I'll actually be conservatively attired.  The fact that I'm wearing a pink tutu not only isn't outlandish, it's pretty much expected.  What the work folks don't know not only won't hurt them, but will actually do some good.  Yes, I'm exploiting their ignorance, and their perception that I will be somehow disparaged if I wear a pink tutu, but I'm pretty proud of it.