This will be my fourth time to run a half or full marathon to raise money for clean water projects in Africa. The distance doesn’t intimidate me as much as it once did. I won’t be breaking any personal records this time for the farthest I’ve ever run, and at the rate of my current training I won’t dazzle anyone with my speed either.
On the whole, yes, there is something to the feeling of accomplishment at beating your own time or going farther or better. The endorphins are nice, yes. Not feeling so winded after a flight of stairs, also nice.
But I’m not the kind of person who would do something like this for a hobby. My hobbies mostly require sitting in a comfortable chair. So, yeah.
This year my motivation to run is twofold. For the first time in my life I’m going to be running alongside my younger brother. We are more than twelve years apart, and even though we live on opposite sides of the country, the training process has been something of a new experience we’ve been able to share and commiserate about. He is also beating me in fundraising at the moment, and as I am far more competitive than he is, this is not a fact I can allow to stand unchallenged.
Which leads me to my second motivation for running: the kids. The race is a fundraiser for clean water projects in Africa, as I’ve said. So, every year, about this time I go out and badger my friends and family to donate at least $50 to my race.
This is because $50 is all it takes to provide one child clean water for the rest of her life.
If you’ve hung out with me over the past few years you’ve heard me beat this drum before. The route to dirty water is the number one source for sex trafficking on the planet. These girls travel miles every day to collect dirty water for their families. Water that will kill them. It brings disease, keeps her too busy to go to school, and makes her vulnerable to evil men who would prey on her innocence.
I have a gorgeous, precious daughter, with a second on the way. How could I, in good conscience, look at my children and know that there are mirror images of them alive on this planet that I can help live a better life, and still stand on the sidelines and do nothing?
All it takes is $50 to provide this girl clean water, and thereby everything she needs for a new, fresh, clean fulfilling life.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?
All I have to do is go out and run. And all you have to do is donate.