2X Women’s World Champion Skimboarder and Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis champion, Casey Kiernan breaks down the 80-mile stand up paddle, surfski, dory and prone paddle board crossing & fundraising efforts. Being a part of something great means making a commitment to raise your own self standards and relying on the people around you to help make it work. Next year’s Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis is June 22 – June 26, 2022 launching from Bimini to Lake Worth, Florida. What’s on your bucket list?
Casey Kiernan: Paddle Frequently, Eat Healthy, Ask Genuinely.
When people hear The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis is an 80 mile standup paddle event from the Bahamas to Florida, they immediately are awe-struck or in some type of disbelief. I’ve heard everything from, “You’re crazy!”, to “I could never do that.”, to “You totally got this!”. With ferocity some people decide to take on the challenge, while others choose to watch from the social media sidelines. Both sides of the spectrum are understood and appreciated. Somewhere in the middle there are the curious few who want to be part of a life-changing bucket list experience, but don’t know where to start or are intimidated by the fact they haven’t done anything like this before.
Guess what? In 2021, I had never done any type of endurance event or fundraising, but later in 2021, I conquered this inspiring challenge with 1st place honors and over $4,000 in fundraising. I saw other people could do it, so I knew I could. And that goes for you too.
Commit: Register. Train. Ask for Fundraising Support
Truly, keep it simple. This is a grand event, but there is no need to complicate your training, fundraising, and balancing your personal and work lives. The best advice I can give you is to paddle frequently, eat healthy, and ask genuinely. Simple as that.
If you don’t have a paddle board and paddle, check online sources like Facebook Marketplace, paddle boarding pages, or OfferUp, for something that is in your price range and will be adequate for paddling in the ocean. Your local surf shop or sporting goods store might even have connections to gear. You might not find the board you’ll use for The Crossing right away, but it’s best to get on a board as soon as possible so you can start building your endurance, strength, balance, and technique.
If the board you first purchase isn’t the best choice for The Crossing, keep your eyes on those sources, and when you see that board you want for The Crossing, buy it and then sell your first board. This is what I did and what so many others do too!
Paddle…Well, a LOT
Next, it’s crucial that you train often and in all types of conditions (as long as it is safe.) If it is windy, the waves are choppy, or the current is strong- perfect! Training in these types of conditions are going to make you a better and more confident paddler by the time you launch from the Bahamas. This also means making some sacrifices with your other hobbies, friends, or family, but always find the balance of all these things that contribute to your well-being and joy, while staying dedicated to your training plan.
As long as you’re getting out on the water as much as you’re able to, paddling in many types of conditions, and doing a variety of training paddles (short distance intervals, long distance endurance, ocean, night, and drafting) you will be ready for The Crossing. If you don’t have an ocean to train in for waves, improve your balance by using a balance board daily and doing weighted exercises that target strength and stability.
Fundraising Stoke: Being a Part of Something Great
Have you done fundraising for a cause before? It’s actually easier than you may think. When you register for The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis, you pledge to raise $1,500. Each donation contributes to the ways that Piper’s Angels Foundation helps enhance the lives of those who are battling this terminal disease. Programs such as Urgent Financial Assistance, Unmasking Mindfulness, and Forever Stoked Scholarships are just a few of the ways that your fundraising for The Crossing makes a positive impact in the cystic fibrosis community.
At the time of your Crossing registration, you will register your online fundraiser. This can easily be shared across your social media platforms or email with a comment of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. People that follow along your life’s journey will become intrigued by your courage and effort, of which they will then feel inclined to support. By regularly posting updates about your training, people will stay involved with your mission.
If you like to get creative and host any type of event, this is a fantastic way to get your family and friends involved, along with others who may be interested in the event you’re putting on. The word will spread and people will be happy to donate to a cause that you are genuinely supporting.
Know that Safety is the Crossing’s #1 Priority: We’ve Got You
Something to keep in mind when you’re trying to make the decision about paddling in The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis is that you’re not alone and you’ll be safe. The whole time you will be paddling behind your support boat that will hold all of your nutrition, hydration, and other supplies. You will have a crew to cheer you on and a captain dedicated to bringing you home safely. You will get assistance from drafting the boat, the gulf stream, and the usual summer wind, which essentially makes this feel like a 60 mile paddle instead of 80 miles.
And don’t forget about all the beauty, fun, and adventure you’ll experience in Bimini! Once you reach Florida, you’ll surely feel accomplished and appreciated during the monumental beach landing homecoming celebration.
About Piper’s Angels Foundation
The Piper’s Angels Foundation mission is to support and improve the lives of families in the cystic fibrosis community through grassroots advocacy and socially innovative programs, raising awareness through education, offering life-expanding activities, providing urgent financial support, and funding critical developments. Additional information can be found online, at https://www.pipersangels.org.
Aloha. Stay tuned for that June 25-26th launch date!