Ok everyone; I am 23 days away from running with the bulls. I don’t think it has completely set in yet. I now have my shoes to run in. They are pretty flashy and very RED. I am starting to think about what to pack and what to leave behind. I already have several wine skins for both Hannah and myself. I am also starting to get things ready to shoot photos and video. I got an incredible little high deff camera from GoPro, and it is waterproof. I should get lots of neat shots and video. I have been meaning to give a video update (blog) and I will soon. I have just been so busy. I will have some downtime this week and I will make a post. THANK YOU so much to all of you that have donated. I am going to be bringing official t-shirts back for those of you who have donated over $200. I have not seen this years t-shirt design, but it will surely be cool.
Here is the story that my national fraternity Phi Kappa Tau wrote about me. Thought I would share it.Delta Gamma Alumnus to Run with the Bulls for Cancer Research
April 29, 2011: Nashville, Tenn.—On July 8, 2011, Nathan Dudney, Ole Miss ’04, will put on a white T-shirt, tie a bandana around his neck and run faster than he’s ever run before. That’s the name of the game when you’re participating in Encierro, or the running of the bulls, in Pamplona, Spain, and Dudney’s doing it all to raise money for cancer research.
Yes, it’s extreme, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I am a bit of an extremist,” Dudney said. “I have rock climbed in the Rocky Mountains, been skydiving with the world famous Army Golden Knights, been paragliding, scuba dived with sharks. So, knowing I was going to be in Spain already this summer and was thinking of going to Pamplona for the San Fermin Festival, I figured why not run for charity. People do walk-a-thons and 5K runs. Well, I am putting my own unique stamp on the same concept.”
Believe it or not, this will not be the first time Dudney has run with the bulls, a practice some protest for animal cruelty, but Dudney, an animal lover, sees as part of the Spanish culture. While studying abroad in Pamplona in 2008, he decided to take part in the world-famous event after learning of the festival’s culture, and being influenced by some family friends.
The run starts after two rockets go off—one signals that the pen has been opened and the second signals that the bulls are on their way. To “properly” participate in the event, Dudney said you should wait to start running, even after the rockets go off, so you can actually run with the group of bulls. If you take off too soon, you won’t even see a bull.
“Once you start to run, it’s total chaos,” he said. “It’s not only the bulls you must watch out for, but the people in front of you. They will trip you because most people are looking back towards the bulls, so you are kind of running blind. This makes it even more dangerous.”
Yes, Dudney knows the run is dangerous. The first time he ran, Dudney said he was “a bit clueless” and didn’t have any expectations going in. This time around he knows what to expect.
He recently grappled with the issue of fear on his blog (nathandudney.tumblr.com):
“The first time you run, it’s likely that you have never even seen the bull run before (I had not), so you don’t really know what you are getting into until the bulls are upon you. But this time, I know, and it’s scary.
“In thinking about this fear for about a week, I realized something; SOMETHING important. I realized that I am much more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than I am to be seriously injured or die running with the bulls. Let’s think about that a second. I am more likely to get cancer than to get gored by a bull. This is crazy to me. And I am more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than to die while skydiving or diving with sharks.”
In their lifetimes, 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed. Dudney, who serves on the Young Ambassadors board of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, said that those statistics are “unacceptable.”
Along with raising awareness for cancer research and Vanderbilt’s cancer center, Dudney hopes to raise $5,000, 100 percent of which will be donated to a Young Ambassadors discovery grant, which is $35,000. One of the board’s main functions is to give this start-up money to those pursuing a cure for cancer. This year, the board hopes to give away two grants, or $70,000.
“Being on the board gives me leverage to fund raise because I can say, ‘I will personally make sure this money goes towards the researchers that I believe in most,’” Dudney said. “And, I also have the ability to give my donors updates on the researchers we fund.”
Above all else, Dudney is passionate, and he hopes to inspire others while giving back.
“I hope to raise awareness for cancer research and I hope it inspires others not only to live life to the fullest, but to maybe take on a cause of their own,” he said. “Life is about giving. And, the more you give, the more life gives back to you.”
To support Dudney’s philanthropic project, visit his website at www.mybullrun.com and click on “How to Donate.”
I only have one thing to say or quote today.
Theodore Roosevelt - “Man in the Arena” Speech given April 23, 1910
- It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
So one thing you need to understand about the San Fermin festival, running with the bulls aside, is that you are going to get very dirty. You will eventually end up with wine or sangria and water all over you, among anything else. The clothes you wear, you throw away. You try to get more than one day’s wear out of your clothes but it is difficult. I have included a photo of what you traditionally wear at San Fermin, White shirt, white pants, red bandana and a red sash. I just found some cheap shoes to wear that I dont mind getting covered in wine or anything else. And they look cool. Here they are. I have been wearing them around to break them in a bit. I have a special pair to run in though that I just ordered. They are sick! Very European style and they have a special little nod to why I am running. I should have them in about 4 weeks then I will post pics of those too. Please donate on my site www.mybullrun.com to help support cancer research and together will will gore cancer.
Something so trivial but so profound happened to me this morning. I sit at my desk, window behind me, and start up my computer. I hear this huge buzzing behind me. There is a giant bee going nuts at the window trying to get out. I think it may have been a carpenter bee; it was huge. I panicked, looked around for something long to kill this guy with, but found nothing. I thought, well I can open my window and at least get this guy out of my office, although there is another window with glass and screen on the other side. So basically if I open the window, the bee will be trapped between two pieces of glass. So I did this. Now I was at least safe. This bee went nuts. He was banging against the glass as hard as possible, even with his back at times, which was totally surprising. I have never seen anything work so hard to get what they want. He would not give up. He was flying all around this window, would stop and take a break, then get right back at it. Well this is getting to me. This bee’s determination inspires me so I figure, when he is tired, I can quickly open up the window and wedge a pen between the outer window and the frame, allowing him enough room to escape. I did this.
I by no means am saying or comparing myself to God, but in a humble example of the help He gives us, I wedged open a corner of the screen with a pen, giving enough room for the bee to escape. This is no different than God opening doors for us. Well this bee seemed to not see or feel the air from the area that I opened for him. He kept flying around, smashing himself against the glass, and mostly going in the direction of up. I feel that we often think we must always go up. We think up is freedom or up is better. Up and out, as they say. Up always seems to be the way in life and in everything. Well sometimes we must go down to get out and go up. This crazy bee fought harder and buzzed more than any I had every seen. This is now the second big thing that hits me.
Up is not always the way. Sometimes be must look down, around, or away from the top, so that we have the ability and access to get what we want. Again though, this damn bee is going to every corner of this window except the one that I wedged open. I find myself yelling at him. I wanted to tell this bee so bad how to get to this corner. He went to the bottom right a million times but never the bottom left where it was open. I bet God feels that way sometimes. Actually I bet God feels that way all the time. He wants to be able to yell at us and say “Go this way, the door I opened is over here”. But He can’t. Those lines of communication are not quite that simple. This was so frustrating to me. I find myself yelling for this bee, “Come on, go go go, you can do it, you are so close”. I cant physically help him, we cant communicate on a level that we both understand, but I have done everything in my power to help him. He would get closer to the exit, and then turn around.
I feel like sometimes we are trying so hard to get what we want, and are so focused, that we don’t take the time to look at the doors that have been opened for us. God wants to help us, but more often than not, it is in a different way than we think is best. There was no way this bee was going to escape his way through the glass, but if he stopped beating himself up for one minute and looked for help, he would have noticed there was a door open for him that would get him to his goal. God is there helping us, opening doors for us, and doing as much as he can. He cant catch us and throw up through the door, and He cant tell us the exact direction to go. But if we are still in His presence, and look for help, we will find it.
Eventually the bee found his way to my pen wedging the window open, and he escaped to freedom.
TEDxNashville today. Overall thoughts were slightly less than I had hoped for. I actually enjoyed last years much better. Although this year’s location was better and they provided lunch, I just felt more inspired last year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, I just felt much better last year. Now I did miss the last 3 speakers because of a skeet shooting event but I can say, Jeremy Cowart was by far my favorite. This is a guy who is really using his talents to make a difference. I love the idea or the concept that “if you do what you love, you will find a way to make it monetarily successful.” Not Jeremy Cowart! He is a super successful photographer and he took that success and decided to do more with it. He decided to make a difference in people’s lives one photograph at a time. I love this! It is quite opposite to what people tend to do. He said to heck with celebs and money and just went for his passion. What an inspiration. Here is a guy that shoots the top celebrities in the world but his true joy, passion and cause is the shoot those who less fortunate. So what I am trying to say here is that Jeremy inspired me the most.
Another huge concept I took away from TEDxNashville this year, is that it only takes a small number of people to get on board to start a movement. This is a concept I am trying to employ and I need your help. I want to utilize this with our cancer research. That being said, we only need about 5%. Only about 5% of our social and work networks to get on board with the idea to join the cause for cancer research and the rest will start to fall in place and join as well. So I am calling all of you. I need your help. Spread the word, tweet, blog, facebook, send emails, talk at cocktail parties, all of the above. Help people understand what we are doing at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Young Ambassadors and what I am doing by running with the bulls to raise money in honor of this great cause.
Fear! It is a relative term. Something you may fear, may be all kittens and bunnies to someone else. Until a year or so ago, I was afraid of spiders. I have worked to expose my fears and conquer them. There is a HUGE difference in not being afraid, and being afraid and doing it anyways. This is called courage. Because I have made a conscious attempt to subdue my fears, there is not much today that scares me. In fact I can think of next to nothing. I have gone by a saying that I love, “Fear no human being”. Its something I try to live by. I believe God did not give us fear and that it is a tool of the devil. I guess it is a tool to protect us too, but that’s neither here nor there. Fear is simply a sensation just like being tickled or pain. It can be ignored or even subdued with practice.
There is one BIG problem with the fact that I believe “Fear no human being”. The problem is BULLS. They are not human. So yes I have run with the bulls before, sky dived from 12,500 feet, rock climbed the rocky mountains in CO, swam with sharks, been to dangerous places, and much more. But every time I look at a website about San Fermin, or the Running of the Bulls, my heart still starts to pound. I get nervous. I can’t help it. I can only equate it to when I used to play hockey. Being a small guy, I would try to fight from time to time, especially at try-outs, to look tough. No matter if I was the one who wanted to fight, or my opponent was similar in size to me (which was rare), my heart always started going and I was nervous. I knew I would be fine, but my heart still felt like it was in my throat. This is no different and I love it! It’s almost to the point where when I see red, I think of running with the bulls and I get nervous. The first time you run, its likely that you have never even seen the bull run before (I had not), so you don’t really know what you are getting into until the bulls are upon you. But this time, I know, and it’s scary.
In thinking about this fear for about a week, I realized something; SOMETHING important. I realized that I am much more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than I am to be seriously injured or die running with the bulls. Lets think about that a second. I am more likely to get cancer than to get gored by a bull. This is crazy to me. And I am more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than to die while skydiving or diving with sharks. The cold hard truth is that 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes and that 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed. Without being too vulgar, and no pun intended, I think this is total bull sh*t. These odds are simply unacceptable. I cannot stand for this and neither should you. Unless you are brilliant and go to med-school, there are limited ways we can help combat cancer. I am doing what I can to combat cancer by raising money for research. I hope you join me in doing so and decide to donate money to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Young Ambassadors Fund. There are links on my webpage. Next time you are afraid of something, I hope you remember these words and are inspired to help make a difference.
Welcome to my first ever blog. Although I may frequently get a bit off topic, my aim is to stay true and write about the things I love, all while keeping in mind this blog is to be focused on my run with the bulls in Pamplona this summer. I will not always be grammatically correct, nor politically correct, but I will promise only to write my own feelings.
I will mainly be writing about my preparation for my run with the bulls, or the lack there of (Not something you can really train for), as well as other related topics that I love like food and wine, which are passions of mine, and of coarse they are passions of the Spaniards so I think it is appropriate if I blog about these things too. And I will be blogging about cancer research, which is the inspiration for me to run this year. I have run with the bulls once before, the summer of 2008, but this year, I am running in honor of all those who have battled, and are now battling with cancer. I am running in honor of the family members who stood by so bravely to support their loved ones through their battles. And I am running for all the hard working heath care professionals and scientists who treat those with cancer and who are tirelessly trying to find the cure.
100% of the money donated to this venture will be given to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Young Ambassadors Board, which hand picks cancer researches to give $35,000 discovery grants. These grants provide these researches with enough money to hopefully springboard their research to such a level that they may receive multi million dollar grants from other institutions like the National Institute of Health. I have enjoyed my time serving on the board of the Young Ambassadors, with my wife Hannah, and we both believe in what the organization is doing. Please know that if you decide to donate, and sponsor me to run with the bulls, your donation will not be going into a huge pot of money where it gets lost in the mix. Your money will directly impact the work of a researcher, which I will personally help to choose. I am always available to speak with you about who we funded last year and why, and what we look for in researches to fund. I can continue to give you feedback long after you have donated, and let you know the results of our funding these researchers. In addition to raising funds, the Young Ambassadors are geared towards advocacy for cancer research, and engaging the next generation of Philanthropists. My hope is that by doing something like participating in the world famous bull run in Pamplona Spain, I will be able to bring some more attention to the cause.
I have set up this blog and a website to keep you all informed of what is going on with fundraising for the Bull Run, and keeping you up to date on my thoughts for the trip. I could not have done any of this without the help of my friend Adam. Although he may not admit it, in my eyes he is a wizard with all things electronic and I desperately needed his help to create this blog and the webpage. Thank you Adam! It is my hope that you all will help me spread awareness of my webpage and blog, so please share this with all of your friends and family. I will also do my best to be available for contact, if you have any questions about the bull run, the Young Ambassadors, cancer research, or how you can help. If you do not know me personally, and cannot simply call, please use the contact portion on my website to shoot me an email. Also please feel free to link my website to yours.
Thank you for reading my blog, supporting this cause, and spreading the word. I hope you are inspired to donate thought my website, which directs you to my Young Ambassador’s page. Your donation is tax deductable and it will directly fund cancer research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Please check the website, blog, and my twitter often to read updates and stay in touch. I look forward to this journey, I look forward to running with the bulls, and I look forward to helping fight cancer.