I haven't been doing my usual whining about training for the MS-150 bicycle fundraising ride this year because, while I am riding a lot, I'm not doing the ride.
Pick your reason: Time has scattered the team. Friends discovered they had lives. I've missed too many family reunions.
No, I didn't get too old. As I type this, my bicycle sits in the S-E's parking lot.
That family reunion situation was starting to nag.
Every two years, my wife's family has a big reunion. Every two years, almost, they've managed to schedule it the same weekend as the MS-150. I'm one guy, they're dozens, they pick.
My wife likes to go, so every two years I've said "Sorry dear, I gotta do the ride," and she's been amazingly understanding.
But I've paid. Two years ago my granddaughter attended one. I want to be part of things before I die, so this year I'm going.
The other reasons are big, too.
Team Youth Impact was composed of a lot of youths who've moved on to high school and college. The volunteers who made the ride possible (Larry Carr, John Stewart, my personal heroes) have other things going on in their lives.
Bottom line: It just wasn't happening.
But it's not that simple.
I didn't get out and ruin my butt for fun. The point was to raise money to help cure MS.
So the question is, how can I still ask you to kick in to the MS Society's really wonderful programs to help people with multiple sclerosis? It is a really sucky disease that can hit anyone.
Maybe I can introduce you to Wendy Higham, who lives in Ogden.
Wendy was diagnosed with MS in 2010, but was sick for years. It was driving her nuts.
"Finding out I have MS was almost a blessing," she told the MS Society. "I had lost my life. I was unable to walk, talk and participate in anything normal. I thought I was going crazy.
"Having a diagnosis of MS was finally an answer for me."
Wendy has become a huge advocate, volunteering for the MS Society, taking part in the walks and doing other fundraising activities. She's really hoping the money raised by the bike ride will find treatments to help her.
Your donations will help Wendy.
But I hear you asking: "Yeah, Charlie, but you aren't riding. What's your part?"
That's fair, I can't ask you to help unless I do.
So here's the deal.
On Friday I donated $50, what it would have cost me to register for the ride, to Wendy's fundraising effort. I am asking you to match any part of that. If all you can match is 10 cents, there you are. If you can match my $50, or more, even better. It's all good.
And it doesn't have to be Wendy. There are something like 3,000 people riding this year who all need to raise donations. If you know one of them, please help.
Or you can go to the MS web site, www.curemsutah.org and make a donation. Click on the "Donate" button and tell them it's for her.
Or send me your donations, I'll send them to the MS Society in Wendy's name. Make your check out to: National MS Society.
Send it to: Charles Trentelman
PO Box 12790
Ogden, UT 84412-2790
Every dime goes to the MS Society, which uses 90 percent of it for programs or research to help people like Wendy.
Nothing goes to me, and if it helps, after I get home today, I'll still have a sore butt.