Don’t hate me because I’m… from Pittsburgh

I received my first bit of hate from a visitor last month. The comment was nasty for no reason except to be mean.* But one part of it made a reference to me being from Pittsburgh and I got to thinking about something @BrianBWatkins shared with me once that I did not know having lived in Pennsylvania my whole life:

I am from Dallas, therefore since birth it has been engraved in my consciousness that Pittsburgh (along with Philly, Washington, and New York) are all horrible horrible places. This is 100% a football related sentiment. Mention the terms “Steel Curtain” or “Terry Bradshaw” to anyone over the age of 40 and expect them to blow a f%^&ing gasket. Blame my upbringing. I’m sure “yinz” guys and the city itself is sweet.

Is it true that those of you from other big football cities hate Pittsburgh?

Well, you shouldn’t. Hate the Steelers, hate that the fans in Pittsburgh are a bit obsessive [sorry, Folks, but you are], but PLEASE don’t hate this city. I’m putting my offer out there again: if you have plans to visit here, contact me. I’ll buy you a coffee and show you around my city and knock your socks off by the awesomeness of it all. If you are a runner, better yet, let me show you the city that way. Warning: it will involve an almost mile run up a mountain [McArdle Roadway] with a payoff like no other. NO OTHER. Trust me.

So, the reasons this city is so great are numerous (to name a few ’cause, ya know, I’m me: the landscape, its low cost of living, because we put French fries on EVERYTHING, world-class medical facilities, diverse neighborhoods, abundant recreational amenities…do I need to go on?). While these are all awesome, the real reason is because there are people like John that live here. John ran the Freaky 5K dressed in a 1970’s denim leisure suit:

If you don’t love his wig and headband, then you have serious problems.

And while being from Pittsburgh AND running in denim are reasons enough for me to love you, John gets even more of my love. The reason? The stuffed goat that he is holding.

He ran with the stuffed goat to raise awareness for Haiti H2O Goat Project. He is running the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and is hoping to raise money to purchase 26 goats as part of a livestock exchange program to aid the people in Haiti. What is incredible about this program is that not only do the animals provide immediate nourishment to those in need, the recipients pass on the goat’s offspring to others in the community, thereby supplying food and income far beyond the initial gift. You can read more about it here.

How about doing socially responsible gifting this year instead of just exchanging gift cards? How about making purchases that actually might make a difference in this world? And who doesn’t like gifts that keep on giving?

Please go to John’s fundraising page and consider buying a goat as a gift to help a fellow Pittsburgher do some good. Come on, undo that Pittsburgh Football Hate** you’ve been storing up inside you all these years. 😉

* Thanks to those that saw it before I deleted it and came to my defense or wrote me an email [hugs]. But in all honesty, I thought it was AWESOME. There should be some “badge” you can put in your sidebar after your first particularly vicious comment.

** I totally want credit for coining this phrase.

Denim for a Cure UPDATE

It has been awhile since we’ve talked about Josher and Denim for a Cure. You remember them, don’t you? After Josher’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, he began a campaign to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute through Huntsman Hometown Heros. After readers were kick-ass with their generosity and donated a whopping $1000 in UNDER A WEEK (!), Josher ran the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April in head-to-toe denim.

[group hug]

I’m happy to report that his mom is doing well – she finished her radiation therapy last month, and she’s really looking forward to moving onto the holidays feeling healthy. She is grateful for all the thoughts and prayers she’s gotten from complete strangers.

[another group hug where I hang on and squeeze a bit too long and make you all uncomfortable]

The great part is that Josher is still at it. Here he is running the St. George Marathon. I’ve officially designated him as the captain of Team Jorts:

As always, you can still donate to this great cause. My offer still stands to love you forever if you do.

Trying to make a difference

I agreed to place the INKnBURN image on the sidebar in exchange for a donation to Denim for a Cure.

If you’ve been following this website, you know that I’ve been struggling to find ways to use this ridiculous site to do some good in this world – even if it is in a small way.

Denim for a Cure was the first answer to my prayers. Helping an amazing guy raise money for breast cancer research by supporting him in his fundraising efforts through running IN JEANS. Perfect. Right up my alley. Sign me up.

But it isn’t enough. So…

Tell me about the causes that are important to you. If jeans and running are involved, I’m definitely on board to help.

If you are a company and want to talk about a collaboration, contact me.

That’s it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Reason #2 why people jog in jeans: commitment to a cause

Number 2 on our list of reasons why someone would jog in jeans: the runner wants to attract attention to a cause.

You know who I’m gonna talk about here, don’t you? Yeah, my boy Josher. Since the beginning of Denim for a Cure just three months ago, Josher ran six (!) races in denim and raised buckets of money for breast cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute through Huntsman Hometown Heros.

There were so many pictures to choose from for this post that I could make a collage with just a fraction of them!

It felt very serial killer-like to make a collage of someone else’s photos.

The most awesome part about Josher? He’s still at it. His latest endeavor? He is hosting a half marathon – The Pink Donut Half Marathon

My offer to love you forever if you click here and donate to this great cause still stands. And if you are wondering, his mom is doing well.

Our Dan, he did it again! But other things first.

Take a breath, Ladies. We’ll get to Dan in a minute. As important as it is that we are good “We Love Dan” Fan Club members, there are two thing happening on the Denim for a Cure front today that take priority.

1. Josher is continuing to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute through Huntsman Hometown Heros. Today is the day to pack a lunch and donate the $5 that you would have spent on lunch to help fight cancer. Please join me by donating here.

2. Today his mom is also having her mastectomy. Please keep his mom and every cancer survivor, fighter, and victim in your thoughts and prayers today.

A big big BIG thanks to the following readers who already contributed to Denim for a Cure:

Mary Long, Sellersville, PA
Minka Misangyi, San Antonio, TX. Author of MoreThanRunning
Jill Whitaker, Las Vegas, NV. Author of JillWillRun and theRUNiverse
Tracey Lazos, Boston, MA. Author of StrideAndJoy
Marcie, Dallas, TX
Charla Neuman, Seattle, WA. Author of RunningHaiku
Amy Ambler, Salt Lake City, UT
And all the others!

And now to Dan. He is working hard to not disappoint his new fan club.

On Saturday, as part of his quest to run 12 marathons in 12 months in 2012, he ran the Charlottesville Marathon. Once again, he ran IN JEANS! As promised, I stole pictures and text from his website.

Oh, yeah, and like the last marathon, I wore jeans again! After the love I received from, my new favorite website, there was no way I wasn’t going to race in denim again! My outfit was a bit different this time as you can see, I sported the jeans clam-diggers. I guess you could call them jorts. I heard a few people on course comment, “are those jorts?” Oh yeah, pretty sweet.

Ok, so Craig took this perfect picture for me. The guy in the background is wearing pants, not jeans, but not what most people would run a marathon in. And on top, he has a collared shirt on! 

My questions for Dan:

1. Where in the heck did you find knee length jeans?

2. How did you get to be so awesome?

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