Announcing a challenge!

Happy Thanksgiving! The weekend is drawing to a close and its almost time to head back to work. It’s going to be hard to get work done over the next few months knowing that my start date is less than 4 months away. I already find my mind wandering. We’ve had a spate of good weather lately, and when I walk into work on a morning perfect for hiking it is hard not to think about the trail and how great it would be to be starting now. Even when we get a cold rain, it’s hard not to wonder whether March and April will be rainy this year in the south. With all these unseasonably warm temperatures, I’ve started hoping we’ll have a few less sub-freezing nights at the beginning of the trail.

The key to maintaining focus for the next few months is to set some intermediate goals, both for work and for getting ready for the hike. At work I have to start transitioning my responsibilities to other people while completing a few more projects before I leave. As for the hike, I have plenty of prep to do in terms of gear, logistics, travel, etc. But I’ve also set a goal of raising $16,000 for Delta Society during my hike, and so far I have raised exactly $0. Part of that is because I’ve only recently started letting people know I’ll be going on the hike, so they haven’t had time to donate. I’m sure others are waiting until I start the trail or finish it, but I’d much rather complete the goal early, and that’s where the challenge comes in.

Introducing the 3 month pre-hike challenge! I have had the same haircut, granted with varying lengths and dwindling levels of fullness (darn you genetics!) almost my entire life. Unless you knew me when I was in elementary school and witnessed brief phases of crew cuts and spikes, you have never known me with different hair. Nobody has known me to not have ANY hair since I was a baby. Hence the challenge:

If $5000 is raised through my donation website by March 1st, I will shave my entire head as smooth as a baby’s bottom! That’s right, I’ll wax my dome so you can see your shiny reflections in it! I’ll even videotape it and I’ll post it on the blog for everyone to see! While raising money for a great cause, a fringe benefit since I don’t plan to cut my hair at all on the trail is that I’ll also be giving myself a way to measure exactly how much my hair grows between Springer and Katahdin, the start and end of the trail (bets on final length to come later!).

So get the word out! Blast those emails! Hitch up the wagons! Loose the pigeons! Fire up the telephones! Link your blogs! Post and re-post on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/etc! The link is below so you can copy-paste it to friends, co-workers, strangers, whatever it takes! Don’t let this opportunity to blind yourself with the reflection from my chrome dome pass you by!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ATHokie2012/appalachiantrail

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