A message from the founder, Dr. Dave Woynarowski, M.D., CPT
I am not much for corporate language or trendy sayings so I won’t use the term “mission statement” to describe what I am telling you now, but if you like, you can think of it that way.
The Race Against Death Philosophy: I personally subscribe to the philosophy that you cannot control your birth or your death, but you are very much responsible for what you do in between. Without judging anyone, I have seen enough people in my medical practice who live their lives unfulfilled in so many ways that I have been reminded on an almost daily basis that I do not want to be one of them!
I have also learned that for me personally, part of life’s fulfillment and hence living life to its fullest comes from helping others. For me, up until now, that consisted of caring for and healing a relatively small number of people who live in my community and come to see me as patients.
As you may know, I also own a supplement company that makes unique anti-aging and high performance supplements. I have no doubt (because I get emails to this effect everyday) that I have improved the lives of even many more people this way.
Over the past year of my recent foray into what is known as “ultra trail running” to the small highly dedicated group of people who enjoy it, I have met and worked and trained with some amazing people who have helped me overcome some difficult hardships in my training.
In the process I met and worked with another group of people whose handicaps far exceed anything I could have imagined.
And yet these people excel and live a life that is highly fulfilled, especially in their pursuit of physical fitness and athleticism.
Frankly, some of them are in better shape than I am, in spite of their hardships.
There have been many times, when I have ached or been fatigued and tired, when I have thought of someone I know who has to deal with a permanent physical hardship on a daily basis. They don’t whine, they don’t cry, they just live and excel!
So I have found this past year particularly inspiring.
I got to thinking about what my personal next step might be in the living of my life.
How might I inspire others the way I have been inspired and how might I help even more people and fill in that space between birth and death with an even bigger and better legacy?
Whether that legacy is known or not is unimportant, what matters is that this place we live in is doing better because of it.
So I came up with TheRaceAgainstDeath.org, an organization dedicated to doing charitable work and leveraging my life adventures and resources (mostly the people I met along the way) as well as my knowledge and experience.
Currently theraceagainstdeath.org is in the process of getting its own 501c3 “charitable entity” designation. This means that, at some point, you will be able to make donations directly to theraceagainstdeath.org and receive a tax credit.
But as we wait for the IRS and lawyers to take their pound of flesh from us, so that we might become an "official charity", the site itself will serve as a pass through to organizations that already have the 501c3 designation.
In other words, you can donate directly through the site to a charity and claim the tax credit.
Our first and foremost charitable foundation and the ONLY one that we are supporting this year is a phenomenal organization known as IM-Able (IM-Able.org).
This organization provides disabled young athletes with equipment, coaching and funds to pursue their athletic and fitness goals as well as spreading awareness about what disabled athletes go through, so those of us who are not disabled become aware of these difficulties when encountering these folks out there in the world of fitness.
IM-Able's founder, Chris Kaag, himself disabled, also works with the “Got the Nerve” foundation for research supporting demyelinating diseases.
All in all, it’s a pretty amazing combination and the result of the work of one individual who has inspired many others to do good works in this world.
I hope you will support us in our quest for a better and healthier world right here and right now.
In the future, theraceagainstdeath.org plans to broaden its appeal and move to national and international charities as well, since there has already been interest from both communities.
The real “Death Race”
In case you are wondering how I came up with the concept of theraceagainstdeath.org, it all happened in the wilds of Western Alberta Canada.
There, every August for the past 9 years, some 1000
crazy people get together to compete in “
How I found myself there last year as I entered the 5th decade of my life is immaterial. Suffice it to say, it was the biggest physical and mental challenge. You can read all about it in my blog and my upcoming book, but the bottom line is that many many positive things happened as a result of my crossing that finish line.
Among them was the desire to put my philosophy of living life to its fullest into something that might inspire others to do the same.
As I became more familiar with the “ultra running community” and specifically the organizers of the Canadian Death Race, I found that this community of “Death Racers” thinks like I do.
The Canadian Death Race (CDR) is a non profit organization whose proceeds benefit the beautiful and rustic little community that hosts it. They have been very supportive of my efforts both as a runner and as the founder of a philanthropic organization and have given unselfishly of their time and resources to help me get the ball rolling. The CDR is more than a race. It’s truly magic and if you have any interest in running at all, you need to go to the website CanadianDeathRace.com and learn more.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary of this amazing event.
Who knows, maybe I will see you there on the trails!!!
A Parting Word
Life is really a race against death, isn’t it?
We come in and go out without knowing what, when, where or how. But what we do in between is what counts.
We are, each of us, important. This flies in the face of so many influences these days that encourage us to be dependent on our governments and our institutions for so many things.
But you matter, my friend.
You count more than you could know!!!
You can make a huge difference in the lives of other people here; people who want to help themselves and live life to their fullest as well.
So as we race, you and I, one step after another to where it is we are going, I ask you to help any way you can, and live an inspired life!
Donations can be made via this link at the IM-Able foundation.
Thanks so much and I’ll see you at the race!
Dr. Dave Woynarowski, M.D., CPT