Earlier this summer my husband and I were going through the garage. I had a few bike frames that I just don’t use anymore. He suggested I sell them. I didn’t feel right about that. As I looked at each frame I remembered how he had given me that one at my baby shower, this one was a sponsorship from a bike shop, I bought the third one….. but then Quintana Roo gave me my current bike so selling that third one didn’t seem right either. Right now I ride that bike (The QR CDO1) and I feel like I owe something for that.
You never EVER sell what was given to you.
I put the frames up on facebook with a “free to a good home” and they were snatched up immediately. One of them I needed to ship and I needed the frame to be looked at, so I took it in. During the interim I lost touch with the recipient of that frame, through my own fault. The person had sent me several messages, none of which I saw because of this great feature on facebook: The other inbox!
Thursday a message notification popped up in my inbox, and when I clicked I couldn’t find it. I finally noticed the other and found a very unkind message from the person I was to send the frame to. As I hit reply about 6 other messages popped up in the string and I realized…. I missed a whole bunch of messages from this person inquiring about the status of the bike. I felt real bad.
Mind you…. what I should have done in the interim was let this person know what the status of the bike was. Honestly with the few weeks I had before Ironman Mont Tremblant (the loss of vision, worry of MS or a brain tumor) and the busyness of Mont Tremblant…. I quite honestly forgot. Which was irresponsible of me.
The message was just mean though. Normally what people do if I don’t respond, is they will send me an email (email is public) or at least post on my facebook wall “Hey Mary, I sent you a message, did you get it?” But no…. the person got mean instead.
So I went back on my word. I rescinded my offer. Which resulted in a big facebook rant by the person. Because of course if you are upset with someone, that’s the way to handle it.
I put the bike back up on facebook (reminder: free bike). The emails I received were mind blowing, heartfelt, touching. My neighbor was the first one to the punch so the bike went to him. But the emails really found a place in my heart. A woman dealing with depression wanting a bike to help her make exercise a part of her treatment. A woman whose friend was raising money for pancreatic cancer. A girl whose chain broke in her last race and she needed a bike for her next race. Heartfelt. Emotional. Raw.
It got me to thinking. There has to be something more we can do.
I began going through my things. I have a few wetsuits in my arsenal and believe it or not I have never bought one of them. My first was a college graduation gift from my parents. The others I had won by winning races or swim primes. Again, never sell what’s given to you. I had an idea….. I put it on facebook for free, asking that the winner of the suit donate any amount of money they want to Teens Living With Cancer.
Jennie texted me, she wanted to give away her 2012 Kestrel 50 cm frame. We began a contest (on Facebook and Twitter). Tell us in 100 words or less how YOU intend to pay it forward in 2014. You have until noon today to email that to email@example.com and Jennie will pick the winner on Monday.
Then things started getting nuts.
Travis Kuhl emailed me saying he had two bike computers to donate. Pat Wheeler said he’s got a helmet. Leslie from Tune yoga has cycling gear! My friend Krista is donating a pair of bike shoes she’s never used. Jesse Kropelnicki and his wife Chrissie are donating some race helmets. Travis Earley and his wife Kim are donating a sweet pair of Tifosi sunglasses. Another friend Kristi is donating two wetsuits and my husband Curt is donating a wetsuit as well!
Then I got a text from my very favorite bike sponsor ever…… he’s getting together something special for us!
So here is how this will work:
Every day for as long as we have gear we will give SOMETHING away. It will either be an “email me first” or answer trivia, or something like that. The deal is this: you get the gear and make a donation of whatever you want, to Teens Living With Cancer. If you have $5, then $5 is perfect. I will put you in touch with the donor and the two of you will work out shipping, exchange, who covers it and all that.
If you have something you’d like to donate, send me a picture and a description. I will put it up for you and get you in touch with the winner and you again, workout how you will get it to them.
The generosity of this community is absolutely MIND BLOWING!
Jennie and I were discussing that we don’t like money being a barrier to getting involved in our sport. Ironman is expensive. Bikes are expensive. While the statistics say that the average income is $160,000 for our sport, I don’t make that… and the price is what could be keeping people OUT, who want to get involved.
So we won’t set a donation requirement. Whatever you have. You know that Teens Living With Cancer … our teens….. are so much my world. This allows us to help one another out and help out our teens. for once everyone wins. It’s the right thing for all of us to do as a community.
When I first began in this sport a friend gave me a bike when he got a new one. That friend eventually became my husband. I vowed that someday I would do the same for someone starting out. So join me in paying it back…. as we pay it forward at the same time! This sport has been incredibly good to me. Incredibly good. I feel like I owe back what’s been given to me and this is a way I can do that!
The giveaways will be in a few places. You can friend me on facebook or like our triathlon page. The giveaways will be in both places. I will post links to both places on Twitter as well (@maryeggers).
Thanks to everyone who has donated and who has played along. Especially a big THANK YOU to the person who was mean. If it hadn’t been for THAT debacle…. none of this would have ever happened! See…… good things can always happen!!!!