Yesterday, Friday, was an interesting day. I spoke with a business colleague who had heard about the LLS Man of the Year campaign. He had also heard about the 24 hour run I am doing on May 4-5. He asked, “are you really going to do it?” After I said yes, he asked if I had talked to my doctor about it and warned me that I could lose toenails. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that after training for and running 10 marathons in the last four years, I only have a few left!  I certainly didn’t share with him that I have a bumper sticker that reads, “Toenails Are For Sissies.”  By the end of the conversation, he was convinced that I wasn’t totally out of my mind and that the event was a great way to raise money for LLS. He told me I could count on his financial support.

Later that evening, I found myself in an awkward situation. This isn’t the first time in the last few weeks that I have felt this way.  Inevitably, we ask each other, “whatcha doing this weekend?” My answers over the last few weeks have been similar to those leading into weekends over the past several years, but with one major exception. That exception, my weekend long runs. So my answers nowadays are, “birthday party, work around the house……40 mile run….church, catch up on work.”   The 40 mile comment tends to draw a confused and awkward, “why???”

The answer is actually quite simple.  A little over four years ago, I began to run.  (If you ever have time, I would love to share that story with you) I have shared with many that, from day one, I knew there was a reason why I was running. As I trained hard, my race times frankly dropped dramatically. I began placing in local races, even winning my age division in a half marathon. Another personal benefit, my weight had gone from 205 to 165. All the numbers that measure our physical health had gone from average to better than they were in my teens and 20s. My doctor said “keep up doing what you’re doing.”  Without question, running has changed my life.

It would be easy enough to stop there and say that these are the reasons why I run. While, all the above would potentially be reason enough, they aren’t the reason. The reason – make an impact on the world around me. A huge, positive, massive impact.  As I watch the world around me, I can no longer sit and watch others suffer if I can do something about it. Running, in so many ways, has been an amazing vehicle to do just that. Help change the lives of others. I ran 40 miles today so that I am prepared to run for 24 hours on May 4-5.  By the time that date gets here, I will have run a least three 50 milers. Crazy? That’s what many told me in the fall of 2007 when this journey began. Maybe I was and still am, but it is how I am going to stay. Running has changed my life forever, but the real reason I run and will continue to run is to change the lives of others. On May 4-5, that is exactly what I am going to do. The only question now is; “Will You Join Me?”

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