It’s all Will’s fault. Several months ago, he mentioned to me that he had seen a group of people training for a marathon in Central Park, and it looked like it was a lot of fun. Turns out these people were part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, which raises money for cancer research. At the time, I was training solo for my private, pointless half-marathon, and he said I should join a group like that. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, and I get a direct mailer from the organization with information about recruitment meetings for the summer racing season. So tonight I went, and after a few rousing speeches from cancer survivors and pep talks about how TNT (I guess TIT is a little too risqué for these folks) has raised more than $900 million for cancer research, I got so caught up in the surge of well-being that comes from being part of Something Larger Than Myself that I signed on the dotted line and received my T-shirt and training packet. Oh, also? I’m now committed to raising $2,900. That’s the minimum fund-raising level for my race (Lake Placid Half-Marathon, June 14), and if I don’t raise it by June 1, they will make me pay the balance. So, loyal readers, as soon as TNT gets my personal fund-raising Web site up and running, I will be making regular and increasingly desperate pleas for donations (I will pay special attention to those of you whose workplaces make matching donations). If you don’t want to throw your support and money at cancer research, then maybe you can donate because I DON’T HAVE $2,900 TO SPARE. And just so you don’t think I’m shirking, I’ve already paid my $80 entry fee, which my employer had better match, so it’s $160 down, $2,740 to go. Let’s hear it for Team RedSquirrel!

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