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Since I began this whole running, fitness, living a healthy lifestyle nonsense, the most common question I get is this: where do I find the motivation to keep going? It isn’t easy, y’all. For example, when it’s cold and rainy and all I want to do is lie on the couch pantsless, eating Snickers miniatures one after another and throwing the wrappers on the floor while I watch Dawson’s Creek on Netflix (um, hypothetically), the idea of lacing up my running shoes and heading out is laughable. Or when my friends (love my friends!) invite me to come do all the dancing (love dancing!) and drink all the tequila with them (LOVE TEQUILA!), I want so badly to go. But when I open my mouth to say yes, inevitably what actually comes out is, “Sorry y’all but I have a race in a few days and need to get to bed early so I can get in some hill sprints tomorrow.”

(Yeah, I’m *that* girl.)

Here are the things that motivate me:

  1. Running has brought me back to life. I did the pantsless/Netflix/Snickers thing already. I did it for years. I was good at it but it never really made me feel good. Running makes me feel good. Being outside, breathing the mossy Seattle air makes me feel good. I’m a little addicted to feeling good. And now I’m all adventurous. I’m getting all sorts of ideas for other things I want to do, fun things, things that involve being outside and exploring and seeing the world.
  2. KimI’ve talked at length about watching her once-strong body get all tiny and weak. It was awful. When I started this, I had a body that was capable of doing so much but I was killing it with neglect. Now I have a body that’s getting stronger, a body that can run for miles. I think she’d be happy to see the changes I’ve made.
  3. iWillI don’t want to disappoint my running coach, y’all. If he asks me how training is going, I want to have an answer better than, “I decided to watch a melodramatic nighttime soap about 30-year-olds pretending to be in high school instead.” I’m not sure how he’d respond to such an answer. I’m guessing it would involve pelting me with olives. Or shaming me in our next 5k. Or shaming me in our next 5k by pelting me with olives and making me wear a shirt that says, “I Heart Dawson’s Creek.” Plus, it’s fun to know someone who never gets tired of talking about running. Like, ever.

I’d like to talk more about iWill, if you’ll indulge me. Three years ago, he was just a regular guy. And then one day, he found his own motivation. And so he started to run. And then he did a sprint distance triathlon. And at some point during all of that, he became a training addict, training for and running race after race, tri after tri. He wrote the book on saying no to laziness, no to late nights out with friends because of a long run the next morning, or a long bike the next day. He’s the most motivated, dedicated person I know. And in less than 3 weeks, he’ll be heading to Idaho to race his first Ironman.

For those who don’t know (or don’t want to click the link), an Ironman is INSANE. 2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike + 26.2 mile run. All in one go. AND you have to finish in under 17 hours. Just the idea of an Ironman makes me want to sleep. Forever.

This is iWill’s life. This is his passion. And it’s freaking awesome. Even better? He’s racing to raise money for a really important cause. This Ironman race isn’t just iWill vs. iWill. It’s iWill vs. Alzheimer’s, a disease that is awful and horrible because, like cancer, it steals your life. And he’s only about $1,000 away from his goal.

There aren’t a lot of ways for me to thank my running coach, to show him his efforts haven’t been wasted. I can’t donate the rest of the money to help him meet his goal. (I paid for a pack of gum with my credit card yesterday.) But I can spread the word about his race, his cause, and his fundraising. I can bring this race, and this person, to your attention.

And I can put myself on the line.

Here’s where you come in. The challenge. We’ll call it Kick(start) My Ass. If you donate to iWill’s cause, I’ll run extra, just for you. YOU will become my new motivation. YOU will keep my feet pounding the pavement. YOU will make me rack up mile after mile after mile.

Here’s the breakdown about what your donation means:

  • $5: I’ll run a mile for you.
  • $10: I’ll run a mile as fast as I can while wearing my Wonder Woman crown.
  • $20: I’ll do a training run with your name written on my face, arms, and calves. With hearts, if you want. Plus the Wonder Woman crown.
  • $50-$99: I’ll do a 5k, plus your name and the crown.
  • $100-$199: I’ll do a 10k with everything listed above, PLUS I’ll wear a dreaded tutu.
  • $200-$499: Half-marathon.
  • $500 or above: Marathon. Seriously. (Also, I almost threw up typing that.)

Your donation is your own; your dollars are unique. I won’t combine your donation with others in order to cut down on the work I will have to do. Donate and then send me an email letting me know how much you donated. Pictures and dedicated blog posts will be provided for all levels, obvs.

Donate and then lace up your own shoes and run a few miles for yourself. Or donate and skip your run today, without guilt. Maybe you’ve been searching for your own motivation lately. Maybe you’ve also just started setting your own fitness goals. Or maybe you’ve been an athlete your whole life. Wherever you are, be a part of this story. Participate. Make it happen. Celebrate other people who are making it happen in their own lives.

It’s a good cause, guys. Donate. Donate now. Everybody wins. Alzheimer’s research gets more funding. iWill meets his goal. Y’all get to make me look like a fool while I run my ass off and love every minute of it. Win/win/WIN.

Can’t donate right now, not even a dollar? Then head over to iWill’s blog and leave him a note of encouragement. Tell him a story about what motivates you. Give him advice. Anything. Fill his head with your words so that when he’s out there in the middle of hour 12, he might be inspired by your motivation and keep going for another mile, another minute.

And stay tuned. Because in just a few short weeks, the ‘i’ in iWill will stand for Ironman.