A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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Derry school visit helps me celebrate another anniversary
27 Mar
By 2020
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By Randy Pierce

“You get out what you put in!” – Oberto Beef Jerky slogan

Caught in the frustration and setback of my health challenges is hard. Even knowing this is the one-year anniversary of the Tough Mudder Los Angeles made famous by the Oberto Heroes of Summer video, it’s still easy for me to struggle amidst the present obstacles.

This past week was particularly challenging as more of the “deep brain seizures” took place along with some other neurological deteriorations which may in part be due to a significant cold which returned in force and became bronchitis and pneumonia. I’m particularly susceptible to these due to a neurological problem with my throat which impacts my ability to keep my airway clear. The week was spent largely being sick and attending medical tests, treatments, or appointments. There was one exception and it’s the heart of this post.

On Thursday, March 23, I attended the South Derry Elementary school and spoke to roughly 250 students from grades K-5. My invitation was initially a braille letter from a blind 5th grader. Our message is designed for everyone of all abilities and all ages. I adjust the approach and some of the concepts for desired points of emphasis to the target audience though the core resonates for most who share the presentation with us. Despite this I feel a slightly deeper connection when sight impairment is involved.

This single visit was the sum total of my week’s work and due to schedule adjustments it fell just short of a number goal I was hoping to share with all of you. With this visit we have presented to roughly 49,950 students just in schools. I had hoped to celebrate the announcement of 50,000 students and while we are short of that goal for the present moment, I cannot help being simply proud of how many young lives we have impacted so positively.

In that pride and appreciation is also the reminder of how much it helped my own spirits to feel I was contributing to the world in a meaningful way. Certainly I do know this but knowing isn’t always enough. In our most challenging moments, what we feel is more powerful than what we know. I needed the rest and recovery time tremendously this week and yet for me the best recovery derives from the feelings that visit gave to me.

I look forward to our future announcement of reaching more students and significant benchmarks. Most of all I look forward to working forward through the obstacles, surging past the setbacks, and getting my medical challenges sufficiently under control that my vision for where we are going remains as positive and clear of focus as the 2020 Vision Quest deserves. In the meanwhile a special thank-you to the team of volunteers who have kept things going and allowing me to step back for the short term goal. I hope to share some of their accomplishments on that end with next week’s blog but if you visit our homepage you’ll see some of the signs of that work!

Group shot at the LA Tough Mudder

On the one-year anniversary of this Tough Mudder, Randy still gets by with a little help from his friends.

6 responses to “Derry school visit helps me celebrate another anniversary”

  1. Debbie says:

    We love you Randy.
    No matter what.

  2. Denyse Carone says:

    You continue to educate and inspire so many people! Including a chubby, almost 60 year old, girl in Ohio. Healing thoughts and prayers are being sent to you.

  3. Randy says:

    Did the video clip post on the blog as well since my screen reader isn’t showing it to me and I know we intended to get it included. The post stands strong without it in my mind. This morning brings a little more improvement on the shorter term part of the challene as the prednisone has continued to ease back the cold/bronchitis

  4. Teresa says:

    Yes, the Oberto video clip shows.

    Sending strength and positive energy–you have enough of both for any three people, but it doesn’t hurt to get backup when things are especially tough. You may not have quite reached your 50,000-kid goal yet, but don’t forgt all the adults whose lives you’ve touched as well.

  5. Linda Matteo says:

    You are a constant inspiration to so many others……
    Do what you can, but take the time to take care of yourself. That is job one for you, all else will come in due time. Take a breath and refocus.
    Hugs and prayers to you and all around you!

  6. ROSE MCAFOOSE says:

    I was present at your presentation at South Range school on 3/23 and if my tears could only have told you how deeply you touched my soul ..I have refocused and hope to meet you again ….maybe on a ski slope or just a walk….

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