I wanted to put out a little more information regarding the charity event, “Firebreathing for Fibrosis”.
The event is not going to be set up as a multi-WOD competition, it will be a single event with the sole purpose to raise funds to donate to the Gaddes Foundation. We specifically created the workout in order to accomodate those that have never done CrossFit before. The goal is that we will have a wide variety of participants from all walks of life.
Bill Ferguson approached me almost a year ago and wanted to put this together to benefit the Gaddes Foundation. I asked him to share with the masses what this event means to him and why he was so adament to put this together. What he responded with should make it clear how much this foundation means to Bill. I hope to have a packed house for this event in support of this amazing cause.
I know you asked me for a blog about WHY this fundraiser is important to me and why it hits so close to home. The more I thought about it, the more I realized, I could go on and on giving reason after reason…but then I remembered, when Tony passed away last year…I wrote a letter to get my thoughts / feelings out while I was on the plane ride up to Michigan. I think this might be a good way to help express the “true” feelings and highlight the points of “why”.
I don’t mind sharing this:
I just boarded a plane back to Detroit, my stomach is in knots and my mind feels like a blurr. Since 6:24pm yesterday, all I can think about is how badly I want my friend back.
I feel so blessed to have known Tony for so long, he was an inspiration to so many and gave strength to so many more. He was always there to listen if I wanted to vent and he would quickly put things into perspective for me…without even realizing it. I often found myself questioning my thoughts after speaking with him, my problems were not problems…they were small and insignificant in comparison with what he and so many others deal with on a daily basis. In the almost 20yrs I’ve known him. I cannot remember one time he complained about the cards he was dealt with, always staying focused and positive. The strongest man I ever met…
Tony and his family have exposed so many to the disease Cystic Fibrosis, they have helped educate us on the disease and worked with us in raising awareness. Because of their involvement and willingness to work with us closely, we now have that personal tie to a disease that has affected so many.
Last year I approached Tony about becoming more involved w/ the Gaddes Foundation, partially because it was his families passion but mostly because I wanted to contribute in some small way to help my friend and so many others with this disease. When I approached him, he said “Bill, there are so many ways you can help…” – that sentence still gets me thinking. It should get everyone thinking…
So as I sit here, feeling sorry for myself because my friend is gone, I am reminded to keep my “problems” in check. I have a great life, I am happy, I am healthy and I have a great family / friends. I had the pleasure to know the Gaddes family for so many years and I was blessed to call their son my friend. Although I would give anything to have one more moment with Tony in my life, I feel comfort in knowing my friend is not struggling any more…
Tony was a loyal friend, his family is a genuine family and I consider them my own, I will always be involved with Cystic Fibrosis on some level because of them and I am grateful for anyone who helps me along the way…it doesn’t matter if you donate your gym, money, supplies or do a workout to help raise awareness….it’s all impactful and I am grateful because of that. Tony opened my eyes to so much regarding this disease and I HOPE we can do the same.
Firebreathing For Fibrosis is a great way to really showcase just how much we can take our lungs for granted. If we can raise awareness and help others by raising money for research, maybe we can make life a little easier for someone in the future with this disease.
I am really humbled that you would help me do this for my friend and his family; this is just another reason WHY I love Crossfit so much. Nobody in my Crossfit family has ever met Tony or anyone in the Gaddes family…yet they are all willing to help.
Thank you so much.