Her aspiration was to beat her own personal best. I may need to watch the interview again, but I don't think she mentioned the fact that it was another world record at all. She wanted to improve. That was her goal.
Again, I found that so impressive, and it has really stuck with me as I woke up this morning.
As many of you know, because I probably talk about it way too much but absolutely don't care, I am a huge supporter of the National MS Society. It is something near and dear to my heart, and no, I do not have Multiple Sclerosis but I know so many people that do. I have been involved for several years now, and have even reached the point where I can easily spell "sclerosis" on the first try without the need to spellcheck. I know, it's those sorts of things that make a writer tick.
This year I set my fundraising goal that was similar to what I raised last year, and even mentioned to someone recently that I was worried about whether or not I was going to reach it. Part of that worry, as I know so many of you are aware, is that my wonderful town of Ellicott City, MD recently experienced a "once in a 1000 years" kind of flood that devastated parts of our town. Many people have been donating generously to the rebuilding effort, something I have supported myself, and I was honestly worried that my community that in the past has supported me and my efforts for the National MS Society were distracted. I say that with love, and it is absolutely something that has distracted me as well, but I was a little concerned about my own fundraising efforts in the current setting around me.
Then the avalance started.
This past weekend we held a fundraising party at my house, and at first I was a little nervous because it didn't look like the turnout was going to be what I was hoping for. Then one donation came in online.
Folks who couldn't make it donated and sent a note telling me how much they wished they could have been there. People wrote checks at the event, while others brought cash. Many donated online before coming over and grabbing a beer, and the online donations are still rolling in. I have the most amazing and generous friends, and they have absolutely blown me away. Last night as another $200 came across my email while I watching Katie Ledecky swim that meet, tears formed in my eyes.
Like Katie Ledecky, I am not stopping because I know there is more to be done.
It would be really easy to know I have reached my fundraising goal and just breathe and stop raising money. I will admit to you all that in past years I have done that, and it always left a bad taste in my mouth. I knew I could have done more, but chose not to. How awful is that?! Never again. Goals, like world records, are meant to be shattered.
This morning I logged into the National MS Society's website and I raised my fundraising goal. Why? Because someone new will get that diagnosis today. Someone else will need their medicine. In the 32 days I have left until the event I participate in every year, I may not set a world record but I can beat my personal best. When that goal is reached, I WILL raise it again... and again... and again until I leave to drive to the Chesapeake Challenge Walk. I tell people often that I walk those miles for those who can't, and I also raise the funds that others need to fight this awful disease. A cure would mean that someday there won't be another diagnosis.
What goal have you set for yourself, and what will you do when you reach it? Will you stop there, or will you keep going? If you don't have any goals right now, that needs to change RIGHT NOW. We all have something about either ourselves or the world around us that can be improved. Make it your goal today to improve. Beat your own personal best, and watch amazing things happen.
If you would like to join us and support the National MS Society, please donate by clicking here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Together, we WILL find a cure.
You can always find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. I absolutely love hearing from you.