“Jan” has known me since the day I was born. She knew my grandmother, loved her immensely, and was present during her funeral in 2005.
After I had my unbelievable, grandmother-influenced, experience at Laurel Valley, and knowing that her two sons were up and coming cross country superstars in NE Ohio, I sent her an email with a link to my Laurel Valley race report as an explanation of what took place in those mountains.
In return, I received a wonderful email of support and well wishes; but a few days later, a letter, pictured to the left, arrived with a generous, monetary donation and words of inspiration and support that really touched me in a lot of ways.
In the beginning of the letter, she touches on the awareness cause of my upcoming 50-mile run, and uses the perfect adjectives to express a painful reality regarding homeless children – “innocent and helpless”.
It doesn’t take long to stop and think about that for a minute and truly realize just how much of a bummer it is for kids who end up homeless. Victims of circumstance.
But, along with supporting the children of Project Kids Eat, I am learning that this project is not only supporting a just cause, but also passing the positive vibe to others who may also be inspired by what I am doing.
In Jan’s letter, she mentioned that her sons, the cross country duo, were very impressed with my efforts and had been telling their coach and people at their school.
— Duh! — Light bulb!
I never thought about that when developing this project. I mostly was just thinking, “you know, this extreme running is pretty interesting to some people, maybe I can use it to create awareness for a cause….”; But, I never thought about it much deeper than that until Jan’s letter.
Have you ever seen the commercial that begins with a woman stopping an unsuspecting street-crosser from entering an intersection and getting hit? …then, another person sees what she did for that person and ends up doing a good deed for someone in her office …which is then seen by someone in her office, and that person ends up doing something nice for someone later in day, and the whole commercial manifests into this ongoing influence of personal kindness. Have you seen that? I like that advertising spot.
I now realize that my Run 50 Miles, Feed 2000 Kids project is about a whole lot more than just handing over a check to the leaders of Project Kids Eat and walking away feeling all proud of myself. It’s also about influencing others to grow. It’s about example.
Christians might say, it’s “living like Jesus”.
Hippies would say, “it’s good Karma” …and then throw in a “Namaste” for good measure. (ok, I’ll stop picking on the hippies)
Whatever it is – it’s growth, it’s positive and it’s enlightening. I never imagined that training this hard, promoting a cause in which I believe, and taking on this entire project would be so powerful for me.
Each week I have new experiences.
New UPS and new DOWNs. High points and low points.
I learn more with every training run, every race, and every conversation leading up to my big race in November.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s next.