Dryathlon Diary Week 2: Live and Let Dry

SOPHIA VAHDATI hits back at the criticism for the Dryathlete.

Alcohol donation dryathlete dryathlon Life mount kilimanjaro Nick Griffin selfless Sophia Vahdati

This week’s entry was going to be a detailed breakdown of all the wonders and horrors that I witnessed as an alcohol-free participant in Sunday Life and the Turf All-Nighter. However, I feel that in the light of recent articles I have to defend my new sport of abstinence as it seems myself and my fellow Dryathletes have been accused of laziness and that Cancer Research’s campaign has been deemed unworthy of sponsorship.

Perhaps I’m blinded by the light of my Dryathlete halo, but I think it’s quite hard to support any school of thought that discourages people from donating money to charity. It’s bizarre how some people view sponsorship as doing a personal favour for a friend or rewarding someone who completes a challenge. We don’t receive any of the sponsorship money. To be frank, it doesn’t make any difference to me if you donate or not, it makes a difference to Cancer Research UK. I don’t really gain anything from you donating – YOU do. You get to feel good about yourself and justify spending £9 on an overpriced tequila shot or a cheap crop top. Of course, having a dry month is in my personal interest, I would never try to deny that, but I don’t see how donating money to charity and leading a healthier lifestyle for a month is reproachable.

Become healthy and nice

Even if, for argument’s sake, I wasn’t donating the money I’m saving (for the record, I am) then I am at least still reminding/ guilt-tripping people into donating to a good cause. I do not think it’s wise to denounce the Dryathlon scheme as too easy, 1) because it’s fucking not and 2) because if it’s easy to give up alcohol I imagine it’s even easier to give up shaving, especially since it’s pretty hip to have a moustache right now (Movember, a scheme which has raised awareness and a vast amount of money for Men’s health programmes). The reality is that charities don’t care whether you raise £1000 by growing a toenail really long or whether you do it by climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro and then hurtling down a 200 metre zip line that you attached to with a metal harness which you had pierced through and implanted into your back. Money for charity is money for charity.

Would I climb this for a fiver?

Nobody does these things purely to raise money, there’s always a selfish element, some self-gratification in even the most daunting of tasks. It’s a bit sadistic that we need to see “blood, sweat and tears” in order to be persuaded to give a fiver to Cancer Research… Why can’t we all win and be happy without someone having to bleed or cry or break into a sweat? Why can’t we become healthier, happier AND help a charitable cause?

I think that any sort of reminder to give money to charity (as long as it doesn’t involve hurting other people) can only be a good thing. And although I think the world was a better place when I was oblivious to a fake shout out to “Nick Griffin from Downing College” in Life on Sunday (the masses responded with oblivious cheering), even though everyone may have preferred it when I could not remember guys trying to pick a fight with the stairs and losing, or girls attempting to exit the club through a store cupboards: we all have to make sacrifices. Even if your sacrifice is only a £1 donation because you liked the ‘Live and Let Dry’ pun, it all goes towards beating cancer, and you probably would have just spent it on cake or cigarettes anyway…

Donate here if you just want to give: http://www.justgiving.com/Sophia-Vahdati-dryathlete?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=shares-from-eua&utm_content=Sophia-Vahdati-dryathlete&utm_campaign=eua-share-facebook