Monday, May 14, 2012
Almost two years ago I was continuing on my path of evolution as a runner and human being. The more I ran and dug deep within myself the more I reevaluated my priorities in life. Shedding my old skin. Discarding stuff and moving towards an experienced-based lifestyle. Connecting and interacting with the people in the world around me. Making a difference.
About 20% of people run marathons do so connected to a cause or charity. 80% of runners who do ultra marathons do so for a cause. Running ultras takes a big personal commitment, so it is no surprise that the causes ultra runners choose are usually very personal to them. I was seeking such a cause when I connected with Jason Harper. I reached out to him all the way in Sacramento, California because he had started a program at an undeserved school in his community through his Be Change organization. My intent was to pick his brain about how he took some initial steps and how his effort involved. What were the challenges? Little did I know what the eventual outcome to that conversation would be.
This morning I am sitting in a hotel in Chicago getting ready to run 2400 miles along all of Route 66 to the Santa Monica Pier with 7 other committed runners and an amazing crew of people. Along the way we will be spreading a message of hope and empowerment to elementary kids and communities. Leaving in place a program that Jason initiated and made a reality in Sacremento over the last 4 years. Impacting hundreds of kids and their families along the way. One person can make a difference. He inspired me to do something. To get involved. To carry the torch part of the way.
For the next 18 days we will be on the road running and hosting empowerment expos in communities along the way. There will be sweat. There will be fatigue. The will be laughter and tears. And in the end we would have begun to Run It Forward. Changing lives. Mine is different already. I can only imagine what it will be like on June 1st to be standing in the Pacific Ocean, my grateful feet happy to no longer be pounding pavement. My spirit overflowing and grateful for the experience of all the people and places I would have seen the previous 18 days. Many people have told me how generous it is of my to give up 3 weeks of my life for a cause. I don't see it that way at all. I am not giving up anything. I have been given a tremendous gift and opportunity. It is up to me to be fully present in every moment of it. Savory every sweet second and make the most of an amazing opportunity to impact lives in a positive way, especially mine.
Follow us along the way:
My plan is to blog each day along the way to capture my thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Tune in daily! This is going to be epic!