Monthly Archives: August 2013

Running with Purpose: A Short Story

I’ve been a runner since 8th grade.  I didn’t join the track team in 7th grade because I was afraid.  I don’t remember what I was afraid of, track is the only sport that you couldn’t get cut from!  I remember the first time I had to run around the cinder oval – it hurt and felt like forever.  Who would have thought that 20 years later (yikes!) I would have run two marathons, numerous half-marathons, and many many other races.
Throughout middle and high school and much of college I ran to be a part of a team. Sure I got picked on by the upper classmen because I’m a scrawny little guy..  but on the track I felt great.  It seemed natural to join the cross country team in college and that was as close knit as any fraternity I’ve seen.  Some of my best friends are from those 4 years.
Somewhere in college my body and I got addicted to running.  I couldn’t stop.  As I traveled to England, South Africa, New Jersey, Ghana I ran. Running is a great way to see the world and to explore it in a different way.  You see a different part of a city when you run at the wee hour than you do when the tourists are out in force!
As I moved around and settled in to life I kept running.  Running is such a huge part of my life that the times I’m not able to run hurt.  I’ve continued running because I enjoy the pure pleasure of the wind in the face and the dirt on the legs after a great run.  I’ve met many great people and had numerous deep friendships develop on the roads and trails in my life.
Why am I telling you this? Another passion of mine is concern and compassion for the international community.  During my studies in South Africa and Ghana I’ve seen some of the worst poverty imaginable. I’ve seen hope and progress, but the poverty still lingers.  The continent of Africa has captured my heart and won’t let go.  As a family we continue to pour our lives into sharing with others the skills we’ve been blessed with.
In 2007, at the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon I saw something that would soon bring my running world and my passion for international issues together – a Team World Vision jersey.  After some research, I discovered that Team World Vision was raising money for clean water in Africa.
In 2008 I ran my first marathon raising money for water projects in Africa.  Each year since I have been involved with Team World Vision as I’ve done a variety of races.  This has become a better purpose for my running.  Connecting with others about the needs around the world, raising awareness, and supporting others as they run their first races… Why?
Did you know that people are still dying because they don’t have clean water?  This is 2013 and kids are dying because they don’t have clean water to drink.  The statistics will overwhelm you (783 million lack clean water, 6,000 kids die daily as a result of waterborne illness), but the solution is fairly simple.  $50 provides clean water for one smiling kid, for the rest of his/her life.   In the time you’ve read this several kids have died…  Would you consider supporting me as I raise money and awareness about the need for clean water?  I live in the City of Lakes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and these lakes are cleaner than the nasty water that many kids around the world drink, cook, and bathe in each day.
Please thoughtfully consider a $100 donation at this website.  It is safe and secure and would provide clean water for two wonderful children – maybe even some as wonderful as my Nadia and Caleb.
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