by Doug Powell

People have been asking for an update on my triathlon quest. It has been a tough winter and spring for me. I did a marathon in March that was an hour and a half slower than I was hoping for. I did a half-Ironman distance triathlon in early May that was an hour and a half slower than my best one last year. So, recently, I have been having conversations with myself that, without expletives, sound like well, without expletives, there wasn't much left!

Perhaps you've had a similar experience perhaps even with ACB. You signed up with all the great intentions in the world, to get involved, meet great people, do great things. And then, at some point, you got frustrated and said, "What was I thinking? These people are crazy! I don't need this!"

But in amongst my triathlon trials and tribulations, there have also been some gems: the guy from Chicago, who I don't know from Adam, who called to say that he's inspired by my quest to do an Ironman and wants to guide me; and the reporter from the Washington Post who did such a nice job on an article he wrote talking about adaptive sports and my quest as a disabled athlete; the hundreds of people like you who are interested in my quest and using my efforts to spur themselves on to overcome some challenge of their own

And I'll bet there have been some moments in your ACB trials and tribulations when you got a sense of the difference you were making by participating: a big "thank you!" from someone whose life you had made better; an accessible signal or some other improvement in your community that wouldn't have been there if you hadn't fought for it; and similar advances at the state and national levels.

So, I am re-dedicating myself to the Ironman on Sept. 12. I have watched "Rocky III" (my favorite motivation movie), started working even harder at practices, and am taking action on things I had been stalling about. Yes, it is a lot harder than I originally thought. But you can count on me to keep going until it is done by midnight Sept. 12-13.

And I encourage you to make that same kind of commitment to ACB. It doesn't have to be forever; you could promise yourself five years, and then re-evaluate. Or, if five years is too long, make it two years. Give it your best, and see what kind of difference you can make. And that includes a monetary investment in the organization. When we go to ask for money for projects, one of the things grantors ask is, "How many of your members support the organization? And how much of the funding for the organization comes from the membership?" The answer to these questions, at the national level, is, "Not enough." So please sign up to donate $5 if that's all you can or even better, $5 a month through the ACB Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) program more if possible. See what a difference that will make to you, and to ACB.

Let's go for it!

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