I have no idea what has gotten into me lately. I don’t know if it’s being 30 and having nothing more to worry about other than how fast I can get this summer, or a self-serving two week vacation. But lately, I feel like a life sucking waste of humanity. Yes I know that is absolutely dramatic, but come on, if you are new to my blog you need to know this, I am dramatic.
So in waste of humanity news, I’ve been thinking that my life is so self-serving that it almost feeds the feeling of being a worthless human being. I have so much in my life, but instead of looking at what I have, I look at what I don’t have. This has been a struggle for me for the past month, feeling so self serving, yet having so much. I am truly blessed in so many ways.
One day last week I realized that I am sort of a shallow yuppie-like waste of space, for so many reasons I don’t’ even want to list them here, it’s embarrassing really. And while I’m worrying about myself, some 16 year old rape victim in Africa is trying to figure out how to feed and clothe her baby.
Enter Fair Weather Runner, determined to no longer be a waste of space. I’ve been trying to think of ways to step outside myself, stop focusing on ME so much, and find a way to help others.
Then my sister sends an email out to friends and family, she and her husband are going to South Africa for vacation in a few weeks, but while there, they are stopping in Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls. They have decided to gather clothes to take with them for people in Zimbabwe. These people are desperate for clothing, especially for children.
Last night I started going through our closets (yes all three of them, full of clothes), I grabbed everything we haven’t worn in a year and stacked them in a pile. Then I stared at my seven pairs of old running shoes, and threw them on the pile (all but my marathon pair). This feeling alone was something I can’t even begin to explain. I got excited and had this wonderful feeling, of course in a round about self serving way (so screwed up, I know) it made me feel good to gather these things I didn’t need for these people I’ve never met.
It inspired me to email my running buddies this morning, asking them to contribute to my pile. To gather their running shoes, old clothes and for the mommy’s I know, asked for children’s items. Just in about an hour this morning I have had enough response from my amazing running buddies, that I’m worried my sister won’t be able to take all of the things I’ll be sending her.
Beyond the box I’m gathering for my sisters trip, I started thinking about how many of us have running shoes sitting in our closets. Hoarding them for memorabilia, or ‘just in case.’ Just like I have been. But there are so many people in Africa, and all over the world, in desperate need.
It inspired me to think deeper, think about how I could take my passion and use it to help. I stared to wonder what would happen if I asked local races if I could take a box so runners to bring their old shoes to donate. I could gather and gather old running shoes until I had a huge box to send to Shoes 4 Africa, or any other organization that distributes shoes around the world for the needy.
Then I thought, what if I simply started with my blog, asking runners to send me their shoes. What a difference we could make, and how much sacrifice would that take on our part? The answer for most of us is zero. Shipping cost, that is it. And a shipping cost that is likely cheaper than the lunch you will eat today, or the Starbucks you bought this morning.
In regard to this, I would like to announce the Fair Weather Runner Shoes for the World Drive (hey, I rarely go small, why limit ourselves to one country). I would like to extend an invitation for all of you runners who read my blog to sacrifice just ONE pair of your old running shoes. Send them to me, and in a month I’d like to send them to an organization that distributes them to those in need across the world.
If you would like to mail me a pair of your old running shoes, just comment on this post (so i can keep track of contributers) and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send you my mailing address.
Cheers to being blessed runners who have the ability to help others.