Week fourteen. March 31-April 6, 2014-It was all about St. Jude Children’s Hospital

This week was all about South Beach Triathlon which it the big race where our team raises money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  I love this organization and I want to raise the most amount of money as I can but we were not doing so good on Monday morning.  I was no where near my personal goal and the team was just as behind.  I was starting to get crazed.  So I did the only thing I knew how.  I let all my frustrations go and I just started begging by posting on Facebook, sending emails and making phone calls.  I also started bombarding our team page with updates on our progress to get my team mates excited and motivated.  It was touch and go but we made out goal of $35,000.00 by late Friday night.  I pretty much think I spent about 8 hours a day in front of the computer the entire week.  I was relentless and I am sure I drove people insane but I just didn’t care.  I saw us winning the corporate challenge and I had to pull out all stops.  In the end I personally raised $6.250.00 and our team raised $40,000.00.  Way more than our goals. So I was so proud of Alien Endurance for that.

Friday night there was a party for the captains so I went to that and at this point our team was ahead but I was freaking out because I knew Auto Trader was catching up very fast.  Brent, the captain, was already telling me they were going to win.  He wanted to make sure I would not be disappointed so he was preparing me.  I kept giving him the evil eye.  I still had hope that they would come up short even though I knew he was pulling out all his stunts to get ahead of us.  Really he motivated me more than ever this year.  It was because of him that I raised more this year than ever and I think I ended up 8th overall fundraiser.

Saturday morning I got up early and headed to to get my training in but it was also race registration and the day that all would be revealed.  The deadline was 5pm so I basically spent all day at the beach meeting up with my team mates and keeping a close eye on the competition.  I was checking the fundraising page every 5 minutes.  Took my battery down to .5%.  I didn’t even know you could do that.  So the deadline came and it was time to find out what happened. Auto Trader pulled it out in the end and passed us.  I was bummed but we came in second which is still pretty damn good.  I had decided I would not to post the outcome until after the pasta party but it seems my team mates were also checking because I got so many messages.  They were all telling me how good I had done and they hoped I was not disappointed in my efforts.  I will not lie I was disappointed in myself and I even told Mari at the bar before we headed up that I needed to get happy before I went upstairs.  That was no easy task but I managed and then of course when I got to the dinner and saw all of the St. Jude’s people all my disappointment went away.

The pasta party was fun and we got to meet Stephen who was a patient of St. Jude’s and he was actually racing and he ended up being the 5th top overall fundraiser.  I could barely keep it together when he got up to speak.  That is why I do what I do.  It was an emotional weekend to say the least but I got to spend it with my team mates and some of the other captains and the St. Jude’s employees who make it all possible.  I could not have asked for a better weekend.

2nd place

Our sign and Stephen and me in the back ground

South Beach St. Jude Triathlon (3)

Me ( Alien Endurance 2nd Place) Brent (Auto Trader 1st Place) and Francisco (Discovery 3rd Place)

group picture

Gloria, Willy, Rosana, Ralph, Carolina, Me and Mari (these are some of the top fundraisers for Alien Endurance)

Sunday was race time.  I was the swimmer in my relay team.  It was a rough swim but I did alright.  Robert rode and Liz ran.  Liz killed the run allowing us to beat our coach Andy’s team which really was a sweet sweet sweet feeling.

me after the swim

Testing the ice compression after the race. (Jaguar Therapeutics set up at our tent)

After the race I went over to the stage to watch Auto Trader present their check.  It was a deal I made with Brent.  We would be there for the presentation no matter who won.  It was great the Corporate Challenge had raised over $350,000.00.

After that presentation I found my team mates who were waiting for the race awards.  Some of our team mates placed in their age groups so they were there to support.  As I sat down Alien Endurance was mentioned and I was called up to the stage.  I didn’t quite know why since I really did not hear the announcement but as it turns out our team won the Corporate Challenge race for the international and the classic distance races.  That just means we were faster as a team than all other teams.  Awesome.

tropheys

Our throphey’s

We have been doing this race for 3 years and as always we headed over to Frankie’s for an after party.

party pictue

Last men/women standing

That is always fun but a little sad at least for me.  It means all the excitement about fundraising is over.  This year I poured my heart and soul into it more than ever and I will have to say that I did crash and burn when it was all done.  It took me a few days to recover (the main reason this blog post is so late).

So mow that this is all over lets get to my stats for the week.

This week I managed 56% of training time oops.

Planned workout duration: 12:30
Actual workout duration: 7:00

What I learned this week is that I like a little competition (well I always knew that but this past week it took over my body and mind).  I sacrificed my training for the fundraising.  I will pay for it next week but it will have been worth it.  Ill just get back on that horse next week.

Quote for this week says it all for me this week.  I did actually give until it hurt.  I will do it again next year.  Like I said before I love St. Jude Children’s Hospital and I will do what it takes to raise as much money as possible for them.  Those kids have a hold on me that I can not explain.  I owe it all to Maria Quesada who introduced me to them.  Until next year.

“Give, but give until it hurts.” ― Mother Teresa

 

 

Day 198 and 199. July 19 and 20, 2013-Started class and some more soul searching

First I want to say OMG tomorrow is day 200.  I can not believe I stuck to this for this many days.  I am very proud of myself.  I do not normally pat myself on the back but what the heck right.

So the last 2 days have been about starting my online class.  There was some printing to do and that took forever but I got it done and organized in a binder.  I also went online and finally figured out how to get to the videos and lectures.  I’ll have to say for a social media course the website for the course is not that user friendly.  Hmm I just had a thought.  Maybe that is part of the lesson.  I am going with that.  I also started reading the material.  It is like Chinese to me.  There are a lot of acronyms.  I do not like acronyms.  You have no idea how long it took me to catch on to OMG and LOL.  I am thinking this is going to take a little longer than I once thought.  

Besides starting the class I seriously started looking at what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, some soul searching.  I love my job as a Landscape Architect but things haven’t been that great for several years and this year has really been tough.  I am consulting and woking on an hourly basis, when needed, with the company that I have basically been with for 18 years.  It was a good solution to not completely losing my job.  There is work out there but I am just not motivated to go anywhere else.  Recently I have beed disillusioned with my profession in South Florida.  It seems to me that there are so many opportunities to do something great but we always get knocked down.  Between the public officials, the codes or the people interpreting the codes it is almost impossible to do anything outside of the box.  When I visit other cities that are progressive in their thinking it just makes me feel worse.  So it has got me thinking about what I want to do.

So today I started looking for job opportunities.  My friends keep telling me I would be so good at philanthropy.  At  first I thought about it in the fundraising side because I enjoy that.  But after many hours of researching I came up with what might be better is assisting a philanthropist.  Really what I like is helping people.  If I won the lottery I would do that. I would start some type of organization to help people.

So I started looking at all sorts of jobs.  There are plenty out there and they pay well.  What I realized is that I need to add some skills to go after some of these jobs.  Now given everything that I have been up to this month is perfect because those are the kind of skills that are required.  One of the jobs was for a couple who were authors and philanthropists.  Really a job possibility with authors after declaring that I want to get into writing.  Freaky.  Another job was requiring social media skills.  Again freaky.  But here is the best part.  These jobs are in NYC.  I just told my cousin I wanted to move there and I was going to start looking for a job.

What I learned today is that when you think outside the box there are wonderful things waiting for you.  I also reconfirmed that when you declare something it will show up.  Those jobs and there were a lot of them are there for my taking.  I just need to let go of my doubts and go for it.  Seriously some of the descriptions almost had my name on it. One of the jobs was for the Conservatory at Central Park.  Really, I could use all my skills including Landscape Architecture.

Day 92 and 93. April 4 and 5, 2013-Last push for St. Jude’s

I hate when I can not blog on the the day that I did what I did but sometimes you just need to go to sleep.

The last few months I have been team captain for Alien Endurance/Trijungle team to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  I have written about the different fundraising events.  On Sunday, April 7th we will be racing and it will be the end of this fundraising event.  As team captain I not only had to raise money but I had to motivate everyone on the team to do that as well.  We have been plugging along nicely and we are approaching the end.  Actually 16 days out our team met our initial goal of $25,000.  So as any good fundraiser I upped the ante and raised it to $30,00.00.  My team is so great that we met our new goal with 3 days left.  They have not stopped.  Not sure where we will end up but at least $32,000.00.  That is an additional $7,000.00 from the original goal.  I can not be more proud of what my team has done.

So back to me.  Today we had our last bake sale at our office.  Barbie and Aida have helped make stuff at each sale.  This was 3 of 3.  I was up late last night baking so no blogging.  It is so funny, the people in the building are like why is this the last bake sale.  I explained about the race on Sunday (but I was like really–do you know how hard this is?).  Anyway the people in my building love these bake sales and we raised some good money today.    We could do better if the engineers (cleaning people) would not take down our signs.  It was funny today.  The guys who rip down my signs actually came by and bought something.  They kept seeing people with the baked goods and had to have some.  I should have charged them double.

So today I was between the bake sale, the pennies for a cause and team members either reaching goals or making sure people were RSVP’d to the pasta dinner on Saturday.  I was so busy I did not realize that I only needed $60.00 to reach $5,000.00.  As soon I realized I asked for help and in like 5 minutes I met that goal and surpassed it.

What I learned today is that I love doing this.  Raising money.   Carolina, one of my team mates wrote this on my Facebook page.  ” Espe! Have you ever considered working in Philanthropy?!?!? You are truly amazing in motivating people and fundraising!”   That is probably one of the best compliments that I have ever received in my entire life.  It’s really funny because last week I did look at the St. Jude’s website to see if they had any jobs doing just that.  There was a position but I have none of the qualifications listed.  I mean I am a landscape architect and they are looking for marketing sort of related experience.  I will have to say I was excited for a few moments when I saw there was a possibility.

Day 15. January 15, 2013-Its all about the training

Today I chose to make my big accomplishment about my training for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon. This triathlon is a big fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and my triathlon team is part of the corporate challenge.  The corporate challenge is about teams coming together to raise money and have a friendly competition.  Last year I was the top fundraiser for our team and I was thrilled at how much I raised.  It is easy for me to do.  Plus every time I see a story about one of the kids I can not help but try and help (this is of course after I finish crying). My friends might say that I was so annoying they finally broke down and donated.  Yes, that is what I do.  I wear people down.  I am relentless.  But its for the kids.  I cannot help it.

What I struggle with is training.  It takes me awhile to get in a routine.  Lately I have not been doing much at all and I knew that if I did not get started soon I might not start at all.  The lazy side of me was settling in.  I was starting to be disappointed in myself and I was not happy about it.  Every  Monday I kept saying today is the day and then all of a sudden it was Sunday and I had not done anything.  This week was different.  On Sunday I received a donation from my swim coach, Aaron Ciarla.  It was a generous donation.  Donations do motivate me so I was like ok I really do need to start.  So today I made all the work outs.  6:00am swim, 7:30am weight training and 11:00am bike workout.  For me that was a huge accomplishment.

I do not know why it took so long to get motivated.  This is my favorite race and I love the reason that I am doing it.  I have been trying to see what is holding me back and I can not think of anything but I know there is something.  It is different than some of the other tasks because I am not being distracted by other things.  I am certain that It will come to me in the next few weeks so for now it is what it is.  The good thing is that I started and that is the first step in any accomplishment.

Since I did not blog yesterday I just wanted to touch on a little about my day yesterday.  Yesterday I wanted to for once in my life finish all the laundry in one day.  I never get it done and it drives me nuts.  I had one load of sheets in that I must have washed 4 times because I would forget about it and then it smelled moldy so I had to start over.  So I set out to finish before I went to bed.  I was very close.  The last load did not make it to the dryer but I am still happy with the result.  I managed to finish it today.  I am going to continue working on this until it becomes habit.

A couple of things are starting to happen.  One is I am starting to realize routine is key to staying organized.  Now I am not one for routine, I like living by the seat of my pants but I need to change this a little in order to say organized.  I did already go to the grocery store on Sunday as part of my new routine.  It was great.  I planned my meals, made a list of what I needed and was in and out of the store in 20 minutes.  I also did not buy anything that was not on the list and in turn had one of the cheapest grocery bills in a very long time.  Two is that people are starting to send me articles on being organized or how to use a program to help me or just saying that they tackled a big project today. I love that.  My purpose for this blog was to keep me on track but I am liking the side effects.  Three (and I love this one) I received a belated birthday present from Jennifer King, my step niece today.  She brought me seeds and a gnome for my herb garden.  I think I will be pushing that project forward.

Image

My seeds and gnome.

If you accomplished a major project or task today I would love to hear about it.

By the way if you would like to help me raise money for St. Jude’s here is the link to my fundraising page.

http://nauticatri.stjude.org/EspeSuarezKelly