lauren alexanderson

2015: The Year of Stickk-ing To It
  • My Goal:
  • $2,015
  • Raised So Far:
  • $260
  • # of Donations:
  • 4
$260 of $2015 goal
+
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FD1: Camp Wet Release

In 2013, I went on a trip that changed my life, and my outlook. First Descents (FD) invited me to spend a week whitewater kayaking in Montana with 11 other young adult survivors. I was excited, but terrified; I had been in a kayak exactly 5 times before, but never whitewater, and always with people I knew. I was especially scared that I would get out on the river and not be able to participate. Instead, the trip was completely life changing. First Descents brought each of us to those critical moments when our paralyzing fear sets in–I remember sitting in my kayak, “cryaking” as we termed it, looking down the river at a petrifying rapid, and the cancer-survivor self-doubters’ chorus “I CAN’T” was blaring in my head–except now, due to the incredible camaraderie developed between my fellow survivors, our guides, and our camp family, I was able to push past that petrifying fear, to mute the self-doubter chorus, and to do something that I previously thought was impossible. To say it was empowering is a gross understatement. Moreover, I was experiencing this with 11 other survivors who “got it”, and for many, with whom I had become close friends.

FD2: Camp No Hard Limits

In 2014, I was given an incredible opportunity to return to FD, get back in the kayak, and churn the whitewater of the Rogue River in Oregon with some of my FD1 family as well as many new friends. Whereas FD1 was all about overcoming fears, FD2 was about pushing past our "hard limits" -- both in terms of our kayaking skills, our friendships, and what it was that we actually needed to find true happiness. Whether we were surfing waves, finding tricky eddys, boofing rocks (or each other), rolling, or sleeping under the stars all together, the FD experience continued to be unforgettable.

My Goal

To send 2 more survivors to camp. It costs FD approximately $1000 to send a survivor out into the wilderness to learn to kayak, rock climb, or surf. The benefits to survivors are limitless. You don’t have to take my word for it; there is even an official study to prove it!

Last year, I did a 30-day yoga challenge with pals from FD1 to raise money for First Descents. This year, I'm pushing past my hard limits and taking it to the next level with monthly challenges. Read more on the #2015ChewieStickK challenge. As it’s 2015, I’d like to raise $2,015 between now and December 31 (consider it an early graduation gift…) which will send 2 survivors to camp, plus a little extra for good measure. Donations are tax deductible, and all that good stuff.

What You Missed

January & February Challenge: No buying coffee drinks. This was actually a 2-month challenge (which I enjoyed so much that I’m extending it for 6 more months). My goal was to save money. My disincentive was that if I failed, my StickK page was set up to make a donation to a Republican Super PAC. The results: The Republicans did not get a dime from me, I learned to use my coffee maker every day, and saved a ton of money in the process.

March Challenge: Daily Plank. I read an article that one of my yoga teachers posted that doing a plank every day is good for you. So I decided to test the theory in March. My planks varied between 1 and 2 minutes every morning. My incentive was also to save money: If I failed, my StickK page was set up to make a donation to a random charity.

April Challenge: 30-Day Fitness Challenge. I crowdsourced ideas from friends on Facebook, and my friend Katie suggested this 30-Day Fitness Challenge. My disincentive was $200 on the line to go to the NRA if I failed. At the end of the month, I learned that I could do almost anything for ten seconds!

May Challenge: Walk to or from work 3 times per week. I live almost exactly 3 miles from work. During the month of May, I challenged myself to walk to/from work at least 3 times per week. According to FitBit, I walked 123.62 miles total for the month, 1/3 of which can be attributed to this challenge.

June & July Challenge: Living the Lefty Life! I ruptured a tendon in my right (dominant) wrist, and spent the summer learning to write, cook, work, keep up with schoolwork, etc. one-handed.

August Challenge: Dairy Free! The plant-based diet is all the rage. I gave up on meat years ago; is dairy next? Living without cheese for FD!

The next 5 months: Additional ideas (of my own or crowdsourced from friends) for future months include:

  • 30 (or 31) day yoga challenge (repeat of last year)
  • No takeout for a month
  • No Uber for a month
  • Fitbit 10,000 steps per day
  • Swim 31,000 yards / meters in a month
  • #Payitforward – Do something nice for / reach out to a different friend/family member/colleague every day.
  • Draw or write for 15 minutes a day every month.
  • Zumba for 30 days (I have never done zumba a single day in my life)
  • Your ideas? Comment below!

Feeling inspired? Donate to FD! Join me in one of the monthly challenges! Encourage me to keep going (or remind me not to mess up).  Share your challenge ideas!

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lauren alexanderson is fundraising for Out Living It Project - Get Creative benefiting First Descents .

FD1: Camp Wet Release

In 2013, I went on a trip that changed my life, and my outlook. First Descents (FD) invited me to spend a week whitewater kayaking in Montana with 11 other young adult survivors. I was excited, but terrified; I had been in a kayak exactly 5 times before, but never whitewater, and always with people I knew. I was especially scared that I would get out on the river and not be able to participate. Instead, the trip was completely life changing. First Descents brought each of us to those critical moments when our paralyzing fear sets in–I remember sitting in my kayak, “cryaking” as we termed it, looking down the river at a petrifying rapid, and the cancer-survivor self-doubters’ chorus “I CAN’T” was blaring in my head–except now, due to the incredible camaraderie developed between my fellow survivors, our guides, and our camp family, I was able to push past that petrifying fear, to mute the self-doubter chorus, and to do something that I previously thought was impossible. To say it was empowering is a gross understatement. Moreover, I was experiencing this with 11 other survivors who “got it”, and for many, with whom I had become close friends.

FD2: Camp No Hard Limits

In 2014, I was given an incredible opportunity to return to FD, get back in the kayak, and churn the whitewater of the Rogue River in Oregon with some of my FD1 family as well as many new friends. Whereas FD1 was all about overcoming fears, FD2 was about pushing past our "hard limits" -- both in terms of our kayaking skills, our friendships, and what it was that we actually needed to find true happiness. Whether we were surfing waves, finding tricky eddys, boofing rocks (or each other), rolling, or sleeping under the stars all together, the FD experience continued to be unforgettable.

My Goal

To send 2 more survivors to camp. It costs FD approximately $1000 to send a survivor out into the wilderness to learn to kayak, rock climb, or surf. The benefits to survivors are limitless. You don’t have to take my word for it; there is even an official study to prove it!

Last year, I did a 30-day yoga challenge with pals from FD1 to raise money for First Descents. This year, I'm pushing past my hard limits and taking it to the next level with monthly challenges. Read more on the #2015ChewieStickK challenge. As it’s 2015, I’d like to raise $2,015 between now and December 31 (consider it an early graduation gift…) which will send 2 survivors to camp, plus a little extra for good measure. Donations are tax deductible, and all that good stuff.

What You Missed

January & February Challenge: No buying coffee drinks. This was actually a 2-month challenge (which I enjoyed so much that I’m extending it for 6 more months). My goal was to save money. My disincentive was that if I failed, my StickK page was set up to make a donation to a Republican Super PAC. The results: The Republicans did not get a dime from me, I learned to use my coffee maker every day, and saved a ton of money in the process.

March Challenge: Daily Plank. I read an article that one of my yoga teachers posted that doing a plank every day is good for you. So I decided to test the theory in March. My planks varied between 1 and 2 minutes every morning. My incentive was also to save money: If I failed, my StickK page was set up to make a donation to a random charity.

April Challenge: 30-Day Fitness Challenge. I crowdsourced ideas from friends on Facebook, and my friend Katie suggested this 30-Day Fitness Challenge. My disincentive was $200 on the line to go to the NRA if I failed. At the end of the month, I learned that I could do almost anything for ten seconds!

May Challenge: Walk to or from work 3 times per week. I live almost exactly 3 miles from work. During the month of May, I challenged myself to walk to/from work at least 3 times per week. According to FitBit, I walked 123.62 miles total for the month, 1/3 of which can be attributed to this challenge.

June & July Challenge: Living the Lefty Life! I ruptured a tendon in my right (dominant) wrist, and spent the summer learning to write, cook, work, keep up with schoolwork, etc. one-handed.

August Challenge: Dairy Free! The plant-based diet is all the rage. I gave up on meat years ago; is dairy next? Living without cheese for FD!

The next 5 months: Additional ideas (of my own or crowdsourced from friends) for future months include:

  • 30 (or 31) day yoga challenge (repeat of last year)
  • No takeout for a month
  • No Uber for a month
  • Fitbit 10,000 steps per day
  • Swim 31,000 yards / meters in a month
  • #Payitforward – Do something nice for / reach out to a different friend/family member/colleague every day.
  • Draw or write for 15 minutes a day every month.
  • Zumba for 30 days (I have never done zumba a single day in my life)
  • Your ideas? Comment below!

Feeling inspired? Donate to FD! Join me in one of the monthly challenges! Encourage me to keep going (or remind me not to mess up).  Share your challenge ideas!

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About

The Campaign:

Out Living It Project - Get Creative

WHAT is it? The Out Living It Project is where the First Descents community fosters a spirit of adv

The Organization:

First Descents

First Descents provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer.

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