I am definitely prone to being wordy and nostalgic at times. This quest to figure out what the direction of Runners Doing Good has definitely had me leaning into that. I was really struggling with that “what’s next” and aching to find an inspiration that clued me into that.
Jenn and I have talked a lot at different times that maybe this is the year to take it off, reorganize, and if it’s in the cards, go from there. While I was struggling with that idea, it felt right.
I even got a message from a guy who’s been a HUGE inspiration and supporter of the team and he gave me that extra bit of advice from someone outside of our immediate circle that helped me find some peace with that impending decision.
He said, “Sometimes, it is time for something new. Don’t feel like this is an obligation just because you’ve built this amazing team. What you have done is amazing because you have all brought an energy and enthusiasm to it. You don’t have to create that spark if it isn’t there. Take a year off. Or retire the concept.”
What hit me most was the next part of his message to me:
“Whatever you choose, God will give you opportunities to do good, just in another way. Being open when the opportunity comes, is more important….”
At this point, I felt an absolute weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was just the message I needed to hear and I was truly and utterly at peace with a decision to regroup, reorganize, and move forward in ’24 or…. not at all. It finally felt “ok” either way.
Until the call came….
It is hard to explain but, literally the next day, I saw a post on LinkedIN that Celeste, our head of HR at my employer was nominated and accepted a candidacy as a Visionary of the Year for the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
She’s running in honor of her husband and best friend, Elijah. He’s battled cancer since 2005! She has an audaciously massive fundraising goal and when I liked her post, I felt a calling but work and family were busy right now. And then the call literally came as she reached out through the page and invited me to join the team. I couldn’t say no.
Beyond that, the conversation turned at various points to what I’ve done in the past with Runners Doing Good and how an epic event like Ragnar Relay is something that catches people’s attention and makes fundraising easier.
I eventually agreed to put a team together and so I’ve started to put feelers out there on an mostly DIB team and I think the possibility is very real that by the time we kick the fundraiser off on March 2nd, the team will be set.
There’s a few things that we’ve got to do to make it all happen, such as finding sponsorship to cover the cost of the team, but, I think this is happening.
I’ve always maintained that if there’s an opportunity to do good in the world, you should and here I am, thinking of stepping away, even temporarily, and not only the opportunity to get back in presents itself, but one that goes to such a great cause for such great people but one that also has a more personal touch for my family and I.
I had an uncle pass away nearly 25 years ago because of Multiple Myeloma. My wife, Jenn had an aunt pass from Acute Myeloid Lymphoma and oddly enough, a good friend 6 months after her aunt passed, get diagnosed with the same thing and she went out and kicked its ass!
So yes, it is personal in many ways and completely unexpected but the thing is that in years past, I worried about the pressure of delivering a big number. This year, I don’t feel that and that’s with the concept that this will be a shorter period of time to fundraise and even going for a record fundraising amount. There’s a sense of calm with this that’s hard to explain but I just know we’re going to do great things.
Sometimes thinking about it, it doesn’t make much sense that I’m here again but to a degree, it also makes all the sense of the world. Stay on the lookout for what’s to come this week. It’s going to be the start of something good.
If you’d have an interest in sponsoring the team or know a good business who would, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s do this!