Friday, May 31, 2013

Xtreme 'Practice' Hikes

Today, CFF provided us with the practice team hike schedule for the Xtreme Hike, and I'm excited to hit the trails ASAP.  Although, I really need to overcome my fear of heights and snakes between now and August!

June 29: Mount Pleasant near Buena Vista, VA (6mi)- a great way to kick-off hiking season!

Mt Pleasant (

July 13: Kennedy Peak near Luray, VA (8.5mi)-- unfortunately, we have a date with Jimmy Buffett in Virginia Beach, so we'll be missing this one.  Disappointed because it's on the same mountain as the Xtreme Hike-- we'll have to check it out on our own.

July 27: Three Ridges near Wintergreen Ski Resort (13.5mi)- based on reviews, a difficult upstream hike with rewarding waterfalls. Nothing is flat on this trail.

People do this for fun? (

August 17: Torry Ridge near Sherando Lake, VA (15mi)- looking forward to a dip in the lake after the hike!

Torry Ridge Rock Slide (courtesy of
WTF. (

September 7: McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliff near Roanoke, VA (19mi)- read that some of the best views on the AT can be found on this trail.

McAfee Knob (courtesy of

I've got a lot of training to do....

Here's the link to our fundraising page:

donate to my cause

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fundraising & Training Update #1

Big news...  ONE week after posting info about our Xtreme Hike on Facebook, we've raised over $1,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It's only 20% of our goal, but it's a great start!

donate to my cause

In other news, our training has un-officially started...technically, our training calendar starts on June 2, but we could use a little extra practice!

The most difficult part of our training will be figuring out what to do with our daughters.  Obviously, we can't bring a 2 and 5 year old on a hiking trail and keep the pace we need for this hike.  For the next month, we're going to try incorporating them into our training as much as possible by pushing their jogging stroller on paved park trails. Once the 'real' hiking practice starts, we'll rely on a variety of family members and babysitters.  It's not ideal to leave the girls every weekend, but I hope our 5-year old understands why we're doing this and grows up wanting to help others.

This past weekend, we started off with a few hikes in some a couple of our favorite Richmond parks: Maymont and Deep Run.
Day 1 (5/25): Maymont Park in Richmond, VA.  We completed 2.8 miles of paved park trails at a 3.5mph pace-- and finished up with some time at the petting zoo and a picnic lunch.

Day 2 (5/26): Deep Run Park in Richmond, VA.  We completed 3.1 miles of paved park trails at a 3.5mph pace.  This park will likely be our training area of choice-- great paths and hills, close to home, and a fantastic playground for the girls.

Day 3 (5/27): Back to Deep Run Park.  We completed 3.2 miles of paved park trails at a 3.5mph pace.

Off to a great start... looking forward to the next 18 weeks!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Social Network

When it comes to social media, I've been somewhat of a wallflower.  I've liked pictures of my friends' children--  posted a few travel pictures on Instagram-- published my resume on LinkedIn-- and followed Bruce Springsteen on Twitter.

I didn't have much to say publicly... until now.  I want the world know about what we're up to and the disease we're fighting against.

I'm not blogging for the sake of blogging. I have Purpose.  Not only do I want to bring much-needed awareness to the need for increased cystic fibrosis research, I want to tell a story of a middle-aged, (slightly) out-of-shape couple with 2 young children who went all-in on a new hobby and hiked 31 miles in one day.  It's a story of a couple that wanted to do something that mattered.

We haven't been hiking in almost a decade, unless pushing a stroller around Busch Gardens counts.  When you think 'Xtreme Hiking,' we don't come to mind—in fact, when I've told people about the hike, they've looked me from head-to-toe and said, "Really? You?!," "You're going to train, right?", and (my favorite from the sarcastic shoe guy at REI) "Wow, good luck with that."  People don't think I can do this... more people have told me I'm crazy than "You can do it."  Their doubts aren't going to stop me though...they've motivated me to prove them wrong.  But... having a chip on my shoulder isn't the type of motivation I need.

Everyone needs positive reinforcement.  And maybe a Facebook 'like' or a Twitter re-tweet aren't strong shows of support, but every little bit helps.

We have a long journey in front us-- and we need all the support we can get!

  • We have 18 weeks to train our bodies for the rigors of 31 miles of mountain terrain—and to find a way to do this without abandoning our children.
  • We have 18 weeks to prepare ourselves psychologically for the mental obstacles we'll be encountering along the trail.
  • We have 18 weeks to learn how to hike— to learn what our bodies can/can't do, to prepare for what nature has in store for us (weather, snakes, insects), and to know what gear to rely on.
  • We have 18 weeks to collect $5,000 in donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

I'll be using this blog and other social media to document our progress and to ask for your help along the way.  I want to hear from you.

donate to my cause

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"I run because I can."

**UPDATE** I wanted to repost Steve Bell's video with this article about his SEVEN marathons in under four hours. Let me repeat... SEVEN marathons in under four hours WITH cystic fibrosis.  READ THIS.


When I start hitting the wall, I'm going to think of CF patient/marathon runner Steve Bell:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Xtreme Hiking

Nine years ago, one of my wife's 3rd grade students was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis-- a genetic disorder that compromises the body's ability to regulate sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus.  CF leads to chronic lung infections and a rapid decline in organ function.  And sadly, there is no cure.

In November Faith will turn 18— which would have been the life expectancy of a CF patient only 10 years ago.  Today, a CF patient's average life expectancy is 35.  Advances in technology and medical research have been extremely promising, but it's not good enough.  Children like Faith shouldn't fear the future— they should be able to go to college, marry the ones they love, raise children, play with their grandchildren, and pursue their passions.  It's unimaginable that my daughters might not live to be as old as I am right now.

After Faith's initial diagnosis, my wife and I became increasingly involved in supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  In the past, we have participated in the Great Strides Walk for the Cure to Cystic Fibrosis— a 3-mile walk with CF patients and their families.  

This year, we're challenging ourselves to do more to combat this disease...

On September 28, 2013, my wife and I will be participating in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Xtreme Hike.  We'll be hiking 31 MILES of Virginia's Massanutten Mountain Trail  IN ONE DAY.  We'll start our day at 2:30AM and (hopefully) finish early enough in the evening for dinner and a beer.   A small group of a couple dozen hikers have committed to the hike.  One of the hikers has an 4-year old son, Brody-- who has CF.  Yes, we're crazy— but we're hiking to raise money for Brody, Faith, and every other person who has had to live with this terrible disease.

This blog has several goals:
  • to raise awareness about CF and the patient's it effects
  • to share stories of our training and  journey-- neither my wife nor I are hikers.  We barely find time to walk around the neighborhood with our daughters! So we have a lot of training ahead of us!
  • to solicit donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation...and this is where YOU come in...

Dianne and I have a goal to raise $5,000 towards finding a cure to CF. All of the money raised (except a small amount for lodging the night before the hike) will go directly to the CF Foundation's research initiatives.   Also, all donations are tax deductible.  If you would like to donate to our hike, please click on the link below. Even a few dollars will help get us  to our goal of $5,000.   Please just put us on your prayer list for the hike.... did I tell you the Massanutten Mountain Trail has black bears, bobcats, and eastern timber rattlesnakes? AND we'll be hiking for FIFTEEN hours.  We will need all the prayer we can get! :)  

Feel free to pass on our fundraising website to any friends or family that you think would like to make a donation.  

Yeah, 31 miles in a day is crazy— but it's not half as crazy as taking 50  pills a day so that your body can absorb nutrients from ordinary food.  This challenge will kick our butts, but it isn't nearly as rigorous as the normal day in the life of a CF patient.

Thank you so much for thinking of us and everyone who lives with CF!
Sincerely, Scott & Dianne Seaborn