Tuesday, June 10, 2014


So usually my posts are fairly benign with a few self deprecating jabs at myself or the crazy sport that is cycling. This post will be a little different. With that said, if I can find a way to make fun of Prius drivers while talking about Acute Myeloid Leukemia, I will certainly take that opportunity.

Jason Ceresoli is a 2011 graduate of Chittenango High School and a student at RIT. He was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Jason has undergone several weeks of treatment and is currently in Buffalo where he received a bone marrow transplant. 

My friend and training partner Tim O'Shea coached Jason in Cross Country when Jason was a kid in Chittenango. A couple of years ago I happened to be on a group training ride and met Jason. He was riding with a cast on his broken wrist and after a few minutes of talking with him, it was clear that he was a great kid, and a tough one at that. Somehow the topic of Tim came up, and Jason talked about what a great coach Tim had been, and we both talked about Tim's propensity for absurd physical challenges and abundant energy levels. Long story short, the two were soon reacquainted and Tim was back to coaching Jason, this time on the bike.

Anyone who has worked closely with a coach knows that they quickly learn a lot about an athlete. Are you physically strong? More importantly are you mentally strong? Are you willing to make sacrifices to reach your goals? When faced with adversity, how do you respond?

In Tim's words, Jason is a hard charger. If you talk to him, or read his blog, it is abundantly clear that he is wise beyond his years and is in fact a hard charger. Not many people in his situation would bring their trainer into the hospital, so enough said. Remember the cast he had on when I met him?

In the spirit of Jason's Journey http://jasonceresoli.blogspot.com/ Tim and I are headed on a journey of our own. It goes without saying that ours will pale in comparison to Jason's, but as I mentioned, Tim seldom does anything the easy way, and this isn't the first or last time that Tim will drag me WAY out of my comfort zone. Any normal person would hold a spaghetti dinner, but not Tim. Jason deserves a fundraiser that embodies his positive attitude and fighting spirit. So in that spirit, Tim is headed to the High Peaks to hike and bike his way to raising some cash to help Jason kick cancer's ass.

I've rambled on long enough. Here are the details. Tim and I will head up to Lake Placid next Tuesday the 17th. Wednesday morning we will start hiking for 24 hours with Tim leading the charge and me there in a support role. Tim will hike as many peaks as possible in 24 hours. My best guess is that he'll get in 12-18 of them and hike/run/climb over 70 miles. He will also ride a couple of road sections between peaks by bike. I'll have the "easy" part and I'll probably only need to hike/run/climb 25-35 miles. As a cyclocross racer who specializes in racing REALLY hard for 45-60 minutes, I could be in over my head, but some recent trail runs have me thinking that I probably won't slow Tim down too much . . .

So do me a huge favor, sponsor Tim with a $ amount per peak. Whether it's $1, $5, $10, or $100, any amount would be greatly appreciated. Our top donor so far committed to $100 per peak with a note that said "Go ahead, hurt me!" That kind of generosity, and enthusiasm to be generous, could bring a salty tear to a glass eyeball.

You can e-mail your per peak donation amount to Tim at: journey4jason@gmail.com

After the dust has settled, Tim will let you know how many peaks were bagged and he will send you a link to http://www.gofundme.com/9w9w3k where you can settle up. If this is all too complicated, feel free to go right to the site and make a donation right now!

It would be lame if we didn't document the process leading up to and during the event, so please follow us on Twitter at @journey4jason

We will be live tweeting from the peaks when we have cell coverage, and we'll get a pic from the top of each peak, so please follow us! If you're a Facebook person, you can also "Like" Tim's coaching business as we'll posting updates there as well. Just "Like" Pointway Performance.

Thank you!
Skinny Phil

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