And So I Ran

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz

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This blog and site isn’t supposed to be about me. It’s supposed to be about the team and our running and fundraising efforts but since the Covid-19 Pandemic, a lot has been put on hold. In many ways, I feel like I have been put on hold myself and that’s trickled down to a lot of things.

At first, I worked hard to come up with an idea of what to do since the Ragnar was moved to a date we couldn’t attend and quite frankly, with everything related to the pandemic, we didn’t have enough sponsorship to pull it off.

Additionally, since March 23rd, I’ve been home from work and while at first, I enjoyed the focus of the quiet, I’m not going to lie, the novelty has worn off. I miss my friends at work, the hustle and bustle of 40 other people talking and yelling and carrying on about who’s buying southern yellow pine lumber from what mill and everything associated with the craziness that my job can entail. It may not seem exciting to you and most days it’s not but the community of it all and the inner workings of our group as a team….I MISS THAT. And I’m staring at least another month of this in the face.

I’ve always been described as a pretty positive guy that’s hard to get down but over the last couple of weeks the weather….oh the weather. With the exception of a beautiful weekend here or there, the weather hasn’t been great. Add it all up and I know I’m not different than anyone else but I’ve had moments where I’ve just been down.

I swore that I’d not shave till I headed back to work and combined with my general malaise lately, I’ve definitely started to look every bit the part of that bearded grump in the picture above.

Add it all up and tie into the Lou Holtz quote above….my attitude hasn’t been good enough to maintain my motivation and it’s just led to an inability to move forward how I normally would lately.

Runners Doing Good’s site and social media platforms have largely been silent. I’ve not simply not run, which always helps my attitude, which leads to greater motivation, and results in an increased ability in whatever I do, running, work, fundraising, you name it.

People throw out there that we’re all in the “same boat.” I saw one today that I thought was more profound, “We’re in the same storm, but different boats trying to weather it.” Everyone’s dealing with the same overall problem but how it manifests itself for each person is different. I’ve been struggling of late and I’m under any illusion that I’m snapped out of it but I made a choice today to take a step forward.

I’ve had weight loss goals, mileage goals, fundraising goals, and all sorts of stuff for this year. 2020 is the lead up to my 40th at the end of the year. I promised myself I would run the fasted 5k and 10k of my new running life and run more miles than I’ve done since gotten back into running in 2015. It’s May 7th and do you want to know how how much I’ve run? 8.49 miles….yikes. I’m also heavier, north of 215, than I’ve been before any Ragnar that I’ve run in the last 5 years. That’s not the picture of a guy that’s going to be setting any PR’s right now.

But the step forward….I ran today and I’m going to try to keep a promise to myself to keep running. It was only 2 miles but it felt good. The sun was shining, the birds are chirping, and I put one foot in front of the other for the first time in weeks. Those goals are still out there and I hope that by just taking it a step at a time that I’ll meet and exceed them. Down days are bound to come but it’s time to do something about it and make them the exception.

Whatever boat you’re in, I wish you nothing but the best as you weather this storm too. May your steps keep driving you forward, improving your ability, motivation, and attitude.

Take Care,

Gabe

PS – Snapped this pic of the Magnolia Tree in our yard as I finished my run. It’s in full bloom! Love that tree. And now back to my desk to finish up my day 🙂

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Runners Doing Good Runs The Fort!

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Uncle Sam’s right……WE WANT YOU!

Since 2015, we’ve hitched our wagon to large scale, long distance relay races as a way to say, “Support us because we’re doing something epic” but with the state of affairs in the world this year, we’re not going to be able to participate in Ragnar Trail Michigan, which was supposed to have been our 130 mile romp through the forested hills of Hanson Hills Recreation area of Grayling, MI. We’ll be heading back to that in 2021 but what do we do in 2020?

That’s been the question that we’ve been trying to figure out and I have to give Andrew Hoffman, NeighborLink Fort Wayne’s Executive Director credit for this one. He said, “People are buying into you, not just the event you’re doing.” After some thought, I believe he’s on to something. We’ve seen our total donations continue to increase through the years and the average amount of those donations continue to rise as well no matter who is running on the relay team.

Going forward, we will always attempt to do a relay event. I think it’s important but we want to lean into our community more. We’ll get better exposure that way and hopefully deeper connections that’ll result in our cause of choice benefiting from our efforts even more.

So here’s the primary thing we’re going to do:

  • Place runners in the annual Fort 4 Fitness races. So far we have 4 that will be participating in the 10k. We have space for about 20 more. Runners qualify for the team by raising $50 for NeighborLink Fort Wayne. RDG will provide a team shirt to be worn during the race.
  • Put a great push on selling our wristbands and merchandising. The more of those that we can sell, the better off the team will be and less reliant on sponsors. If you’d like to purchase one, visit our Store!

Additionally, we know it’s difficult for businesses right now to commit to anything as a sponsor, much less the full amount we ask. We’re still going to reach out and if they can give anything, we’ll accept it.

With just running the Fort 4 Fitness, we’re not needing all of the sponsorship money we’ve used for the annual relay so 100% of anything a business gives us this year will be counted as sponsorship but go directly to NeighborLink Fort Wayne.

Our goal is to support our community, through NeighborLink Fort Wayne’s mission, one mile at a time. Who’s with us?

 

The Numbers Are In!!!

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re doing well. After Monday’s disappointing news regarding Ragnar Trail Michigan being postponed and our differing to 2021, I wanted to share with you some good news.

After our March Matching opportunity, we have officially now raised $2,932 to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne! It’s remarkable that we hit this number because we started off so strong and then everything with Covid-19 hit and the fundraising slowed down a ton as everyone tried to digest what to do next.

That said, it’s an incredible number and by far the the best single fundraising month that we’ve ever had in our 5 year history. It’s really something amazing.

Additionally, after last year’s $7443 that we raised, we’ve now crossed the $10K mark to benefit NLFW with a total of $10,375, barely into our second year! I never thought that we would raise $1,000 that first year and now we’ve cleared $10,000 for two local charities during our time.

Thank you to all who have supported us multiple times to make this a possibility and for supporting these charities that have done so much good in the Fort Wayne area.

Lastly, despite all of the craziness of the world right now, stay tuned next week for more information on what we’d like to do for the rest of the year to support NeighborLink.

 

Ragnar Trail Michigan Officially Postponed

It’s with a good bit of disappointment that we officially announce that Ragnar Trail Michigan has officially been postponed. Even more of a bummer is that the dates that it’s now scheduled is one that most of the team can not attend or in light of our current status, willing to give up: Labor Day weekend. I have no issues with that whatsoever.

Since Covid-19 started affecting things dramatically here in the United States, I hoped and prayed that we’d be able to pull off this run but Ragnar Relay did the right thing here. Anyone denying that the coronavirus isn’t deadly, isn’t highly contagious, or something to avoid is just wrong. The sooner we can knock this thing down, the quicker we can get back up.

So with that, we will be differing this relay race till 2021. This year, however, isn’t over. This is still hope to get out there and run. There’s still a lot to be encouraged about for the second half of the year.

NeighborLink Fort Wayne surely isn’t stopping. They’re still out there, helping the community and they’re gaining momentum. Our efforts on their behalf won’t wane either. We’re like a lot of folks right now with plans changing rapidly. We’re trying to find our footing but when we do, we’ll share those with you as soon as possible.

For now, enjoy some pictures from Ragnar Relay Michigan, the last 2 years.

Have a great day everyone! Be safe. Be happy. Be well.

Sincerely,

Gabe

One Week To Go!!!!

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It has been a CRAZY month to say the least but we are 1 week away from finishing our kick-off Matching opportunity. Things have slowed down a good bit as people are trying to find their footing with the Coronavirus but there’s something I can’t stress enough, non-profits aren’t taking time off right now.

NeighborLink is working hard to keep connecting people. They’re really looking after the community and encouraging us to do the same. Call that elderly neighbor or just that neighbor who doesn’t get out much and see if they’re ok. Sometimes it doesn’t take a ton but to just show you care.

That said, any help you can provide to show NeighborLink Fort Wayne that you can is appreciated.

Please visit our fundraising site:  www.nlfw.org/18997to make a donation now. If you’re from outside of Indiana, a $5 donation, colors your state green! I’ll also send you a RDG wristband for your support.map319

 

Thank you so much for your consideration and continued support of our efforts to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne.  We’re not sure what the future holds but we have to keep backing wonderful groups like them so that they can be the most effective they can be.

Have a great day! Be safe! Be healthy!

Gabe

March Matching

 

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Our March Matching even is well under way! Just to bring you up to speed as we’ve not been dialed in over the last couple weeks because of all of the craziness from the Coronavirus and work related things due to that, I wanted to provide you with a quick update on how the campaign is going and how you can help.

Right now, our fundraiser is up to $1,235 donated from folks as far away as California, Michigan, and of course, here in Indiana. Every dollar of that will be matched by your long time and truly generous donor.

So where do those dollars go? 100% of it goes to NeighborLink Fort Wayne.  They’ve done all sorts of wonderful things throughout our community throughout the years and they’re in overdrive right now trying to help folks within the community that have an assortment of needs, many of which are the same needs they had before but find it more difficult to handle with so many limitations out there.

It’s the organizations like NeighborLink Fort Wayne that we need to support even more during these trying times SO, if you’d be so willing, please consider a donation to benefit them and do it through our fundraiser because your donation counts twice right now with us.

Visit the following link to make that donation now…. www.nlfw.org/project/18997

Sponsor #2 – OmniSource!

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It is awesome how things work. Good things tend to come in bunches! Within a day or so of getting a commitment from Sue and Coldwell Banker, I received one from OmniSource and Mike Franio, who are again, another multi-year supporter of our team.

OmniSource has now supported us for 4 years now and a huge reason behind that has been Mike. Mike made sure to support us that first year because Artie, one of our drivers as well as a one time runners, was a part of the team and he had worked with Artie at Omni for a short bit.

When you’re doing things like seeking sponsorships and some of them are tied to a particular runner, you always worry that if that particular person doesn’t run from one year to the next that you’re going to lose that support.  Mike and OmniSource really haven’t wavered a bit.

They’ve been more concerned with making a positive impact whether it’s been for Kate’s Kart those first few years or now for NeighborLink Fort Wayne.  Sometimes they been so excited to support our efforts that they’ve hand delivered the sponsorship check.  Their support of great causes through us, has been amazing to personally witness.  When they’re in, they’re enthusiastically in and it’s just awesome.

This year, they’ve committed to a Silver Level Sponsorship which is the highest level that they’ve ever supported us and we’re truly humbled and excited by it.

Here’s why and it’s a beautiful thing: Because of our efforts to simplify what we do for the better, between our first sponsor, Coldwell Banker, and now OmniSource’s support, we’re almost halfway to covering our projected expenses! Last year we would have been less than a third of the way there.

The potential is there that if we continue to receive similar results from other businesses locally that there will be a lot of sponsorship dollars going straight to NeighborLink Fort Wayne through our fundraiser.

So a HUGE Thank You to OmniSource and Mike for this wonderful commitment! You’re helping make a major difference for our team and I can’t wait to see where this goes from here.

Our 1st Sponsor Has Pledged!!!

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I’m truly proud to announce that Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber – Sue Teasdale is our first sponsor of 2020’s campaign to benefit NeighborLink Fort Wayne.  I have had the fortune of knowing Sue now for more than 10 years as she helped Jenn and I find our first home and she has stayed in touch ever since.

About 6 years ago when we found our youngest was on the way, we decided it was time for us to find a bigger home. Sue was the first call we made because of how great she was to work with that first time and she didn’t disappoint.  The housing market was different then than it is now and we received all sorts of odd offers while our home was on the market.

In amongst that, we found our current home that we absolutely love.  We took the risk, made, and offer, and bought our current home.  We ended up paying double mortgages for 2 months, which isn’t convenient when one half of the family is going to be off of work for several weeks following having the baby.

Sue recognized how tough of a time that was for us and worked tirelessly on our behalf to get that house sold.  The couple that bought it lowballed us more than once and through it all, Sue worked so hard to help find a deal that worked for both sides, which we ultimately did.

Fast forward a couple of years and as we started this whole running adventure, Sue and Coldwell Banker have gotten behind us again.  This is our 5th year running charitable campaigns, our 6th race, and it’s their 4th time supporting us, the second consecutive as a Gold Sponsor!

So THANK YOU to Coldwell Banker Rother Wehrly Graber and Sue Teasdale for their generous past and continued support of our little team.  We truly appreciate you!

Sincerely,

Gabe

Keeping Fort Wayne Warm

 

Just had to share this great video that NeighborLink Fort Wayne produced.  It really shows what they’re about and where the money we raised in 2019 went.  It was great to see that our funds were both heartwarming and home-warming!

We’ve begun our campaign for them already.  If you’d like to contribute, please visit https://www.nlfw.org/project/18997  to make a donation now!

 

Meet Your 2020 Runners Doing Good!

The last 5 years have been a true blessing.  From barely dreaming about raising $1,000 to looking at hitting $25,000 within the next $500 raised, it’s been crazy to think about and at the core of all of this has been the people.

We’ve just had a great group of people.  Many I’ve met for the first time when we gotten together the night before a race.  Some I hadn’t seen in years until the event and it was great to catch up during the planning stages and throughout the event.  Some have been family members who are great friends and others, friends that are as close as family.

It’s just been a true blessing to have every single one of them a part of this process and adventure that when the goal became to simplify the process and Ragnar Trail Michigan became a possibility, it was difficult to consider cutting the team from it’s traditional 12 runner team down to 8 runners as there’s not been a shortage of great people to choose from.

As hard as it was to consider, when I finally boiled it down, it came down to the runners that I’ve had long term relationships with and/or that have been a part of this adventure for the largest portion of it.

If you count how many Ragnars each individual has run as a part of Runnin’ Not Walken/Runners Doing Good, we have 33 Ragnars combined and more than 500 miles of pavement/trails between us.  After Ragnar Trail Michigan is run, 5 of the 8 runners will go over 50 miles run for RNW/RDG and 3 will go over 75 with 1 falling less than a mile and a half short of their 100th mile. It’s an experienced group and one that I know will do well on the trails.

With that, I’m proud to announce that Cherri Marcum, Jennifer Arnold, Melissa Menzies, Chris Menzies, Ryan Koehlke, Michael Koehlke, Andrew Mills, and myself, Gabe Arnold are 2020’s Runners Doing Good, setting out to tackle all 130 epically forested miles of Ragnar Trail Michigan.

 

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