Thankful Thursday 11/5/2015

Welcome to November!

one of my favorite trees

one of my favorite trees

This is a month in which many people start to focus on being thankful and on helping others, but the needs are always there, as are people doing something about those needs. Here are a few things I’ve seen recently about people helping others, and I’m thankful not only for what they are doing, but for their examples that inspire and motivate me. It’s wonderful that we all have the chance to make a difference in our own way!

  • I love that one of RW cover choices is a runner – Bobby Gill – who’s made it his life’s work to help others
  • I am so happy to see the bravery of women runners in places like Afghanistan being supported by organizations like Free to Run (started by ultrarunner, attorney, human rights advocate, and writer Stephanie Case) and that their attempts to run and gain the freedoms they should have are getting more attention. Someday maybe we’ll even get to know Zainab by her own name.
  • I always appreciate reminders like this that there are so many people out there with physical challenges, for whom even everyday tasks are likely a lot of work, still persevering and doing amazing things, helping others and being part of our wonderful running community. Guts, grit and grace. (via Erin – By the way, check out Erin’s Small Change Initiative as a way to do good for your next race….)

-If you’re interested, you can find ways to support Achilles, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Team with a Vision & other such orgs (or charity orgs you can support via racing like Team Fox) and find your way of supporting whatever cause or group appeals. Donate money or time, run to raise money, be a run guide or coach, whatever moves you and works for you. It’s never too late or too early to start – and nothing you can give is too small to matter.

  • It’s great to see runners helping others get started in our beloved support of running through groups like Girls on the Run or school groups or clubs (as often recently featured in Runner’s World).
  • If you’re a triathlete, you might enjoy helping kids get started in triathlon as Cherie Gruenfeld, 71 year old repeat Ironman age group champion, has done with her Exceeding Expectations organization, which I’d read about and recently heard on this episode of Babbittville Radio, where Cherie also talks about her last trip to Kona. (By the way, Bob Babbitt is one of the people who started the Challenged Athletes Foundation!)
  • You can do virtual races or challenges – benefit yourself while helping others

-Here’s one from Meredith, helping to raise money for the ALS Association, inspired by DC triathlete and runner Drea, who’s been diagnosed with ALS

-And the Another Mother Runner Stride Through the Holidays Challenge in support of HeartStrides – helping moms run when their children are dealing with life-threatening illnesses – what a wonderful idea! The Challenge is a way to support them and keep yourself running through year end (you can also donate cash or send items). Denise, the founder, was on this episode of the AMR podcast.

Opportunities to help are everywhere, in our own house, workplace, community as well as around the world. You can look for the need or look for those helping and join them. I see people and new groups helping others in creative ways almost every day!

Whatever need or cause is dear to you, or whatever you love and want to share, there’s good you can do. Whatever sport or hobby you are passionate about, whatever knowledge, experience, skills or resources you have to share can be used to help others. While I wish there was no need, no pain or suffering, I am thankful that I, through my good fortune, have a chance to be of service to others.

(One note – there may be times in your life where you just can’t spare the time, energy or resources to reach out and help someone else. Sometimes it’s all you can do to manage a smile, send a thought or prayer, open a door for someone, say a “thank you” to someone who doesn’t usually get one. Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can, no matter how small it might seem, or from doing what’s right for you, and don’t feel bad about taking care of yourself. You need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help someone else.)

What are you thankful for this week?  Care to share a favorite way to help others?