Thursday, March 19, 2015

Giving Back Pay It Forward

It is often said that "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

I believe that as a group, endurance athletes... runners, triathletes, swimmers, cyclists, etc. are one of the most giving bunch of individuals I have ever met.

A helping hand, an encouraging word, a piece of advice, these  are never far from the will of these athletes. They're every where, you're never truly alone, if you find yourself in need, someone's there to help. I know this first hand. Over the years, I have been the recipient of much of these. I am and will forever be grateful to each and everyone that came to my rescue, to answer my endless questions, to push me and to give me a swift kick in the back of my head when needed. And lord knows I've needed this.

Giving back should be second nature. Paying it forward should not be an option. I believe that everyone that has received should reciprocate. I also live by the mantra that "What I Have Learned and What Has Been Given Me is Not Mine To Keep". I understand everyone lives in different circumstances and conditions, everyone's priorities and goals are not the same, and they shouldn't be. Therefore I speak for myself, never for others. I don't judge anyone's decisions to or not to. However, I will always encourage you to give a little.

All this I say to bring you to the point of this writing.

About three weeks ago, the mother of a young man with some challenges posted on our running club's facebook page information about a Foundation she had started: RUN for ME Foundation. The premise is simple: She matches young people (pals) with physical disabilities that cannot run, or exercise, for themselves, with athletes (buddies) that are willing to do this (virtually) for them.

She doesn't ask for much. When you run, swim, bike, etc. dedicate your session to your match, your pal.  Post something on her Foundation's facebook group page.

After reading the information she provided on her website, I immediately signed up! I wanted my "pal". I wanted to run for someone, someone that needed me. However, immediately I found that this was a two way street. I found that Running For Caleb, "my pal", added that extra bit of motivation to get out and get it done.

I have had the opportunity to meet Jamie, the founder of RUN4ME, and as it happens to be, she's also Caleb's mom. She's a tremendous person, with so much "give" in her heart. I was honored beyond any explanation possible when I was introduced to her and her mission. I have embraced it and I am committed to helping her make this succeed.

And then I met my pal Caleb. This put it all together.

As of this writing there are 16 matches; sixteen pals have their buddies running, swimming, cycling, etc. for them. All this has been accomplished in a matter of about three weeks!

I encourage anyone, everyone to find out a little more about this. You will be glad you did. If you know someone, or know of someone that may need a buddy or would like the idea of being a pal, share this with them.

Our goal today is to double the number of matches in the next 30 days. You can be a part of this, you should be a part of this.

To find out more about the RUN4ME Foundation, click here to access the website.
To join the RUN4ME facebook group, click here.
To follow RUN4ME on facebook, click here to "like" the page.

To Follow my "Journey Beyond Ironman" facebook page, click here.