Before jumping right into this post, be warned it might make you mad or maybe you are in agreement with my opinion. If you are easily offended, skip this post and wait for an athlete profile or other article. You have been warned…
In the last year a new trend has emerged and even mocked on a South Park episode, that trend, crowdsourcing money for your own gain. While not new at all and important projects have been funded by successful Kickstarter Campaigns that is not what this is about. Nor is this about those with medical bills or helping raise money for a needed surgery or other unforeseen life need. If you are a step off a national team and need help that I understand, I have spent my life around those athletes. Those I can support. But what I have seen more and more in the last year and what is hard to swallow are those starting GoFundMe campaigns to pay for everyday racing specifically in the obstacle racing community.
This trend seems to have emerged in the last year people asking complete strangers (and sharing on large forums) requests for money to help them pay for their regular racing season. Some campaigns are for a few hundred dollars and others for thousands of dollars. This is where I draw the line. I love charity, love helping people, and give to a couple organizations yearly. Lending a hand and helping is in my nature, but there is a line.
Everyone has a story, everyone has a reason to race and want to change their lives. It’s admirable but obstacle racing and most sports for the majority of adults are hobbies. If you are not on a national team or trying to go to the Olympics or highest levels of your sport personally I have a hard time understanding why I should fund your racing season. If you are an average racer, which is about 99% of the community, then GoFundMe is silly. You are asking people to support your hobby.
Yup, I said it hobby! Instead do what the rest of us have to do, work, sacrifice, and save. Start a separate race savings account and add a few bucks every paycheck to it. Yes, you might not get those 20 races in this year but if it’s a long term goal work for it! I promise it will feel better in the end, as I wrote about we live in a culture of wanting it all now. Sometimes we have to wait, and that is part of the process. Let’s all start being adults, take responsibility for our lives, our hobbies, and instead of finding the quick fix through a GoFundMe campaign work for our goals.
Harsh, yes that last paragraph is harsh but it’s time to stop flooding the waves of social media with requests to fill our own selfish wants. I do not know the backstory of every person who posts online and I bet 100% of them are great people just trying to do their best. However, asking strangers to help you get a triple trifecta or fund your whole racing season is not the way to do it.
If you qualify for some amazing event and need a little help then ask, this is what crowdfunding is for. If you have a life event happen and need help, ask, happy to do what I can. If you are trying to raise money for a cause, like a friend currently running across the country, yes I will support the charity you are running to raise awareness for. I will continue to help those who are helping others in the process through a solid charity, but sorry I cannot give you a few bucks because you want to race somewhere cool, or get a few more pieces of bling. That you have to work for yourself.