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Thursday, February 23, 2012

People never cease to amaze me...

Some people might see this title in a negative light but I mean it in the "totally, like wow!" way in that the generosity of human beings is truly extraordinary and shame on me for thinking otherwise. 

This is a year of revelation for me. Maybe it's because I am firmly within middle age now (even if I still only have the maturity of a man-boy) and the questions of mortality loom closer while my sphere of reality disintegrates as I continue to mourn the loss of friends and family. Or maybe it's because I don't feel like I've made my mark yet and find myself restless and taking on challenges to encourage me physically, mentally and spiritually.

One of the ways I've done that is to join the race craze. Starting off this year with a 5k (which I'll get into further below) and 2 obstacle races - the Rugged Maniac and the Tough Mudder - can you say mid-life crisis?

You see, earlier this week, I got a reminder email that I'd pledged a sum of money in a race I was participating in and that I hadn't raised a dollar yet - with the exception of my entry fee and the additional $15 I'd contributed to my pledge goal of $275.

So I thought about this for a few seconds and decided to put out a call to my friends using facebook. Now whether or not you find facebook useful, a time suck or a privacy killing business behemoth (with the sole purpose to monetize your relationships and the items and stories you share with your network) is a point of discussion for a future post. Personally, I waffle between all three viewpoints but found it incredibly useful for sending out my plea.

Anyway, I asked my facebook network to each pledge $1 to the following cause                 (as I ask anyone reading this to do if you are so inclined):
If they all did just that little bit, I'd reach my goal - no problem!

What happened in the following 24 hours was completely different and completely unexpected. Now, I wasn't expecting everyone to participate. I'm fairly realistic and I know not everyone is going to be supportive of a cause, supportive of me in this endeavor or even bother to read my update because, let's face it, we all have our own busy lives full of all the issues, joys and people we deal with on a daily basis in the meatspace.

My point is, within 24 hours, I'd reached my goal! (Disclosure: my ab fab mom helped tremendously with a $100 donation) And that was from extremely generous contributions from only 8 people out of a network of just under 300 within an incredibly short period of time. Some of these friends I haven't seen in person in years. Some are struggling with new additions, loss and new environments yet still felt this was worthwhile. I am incredibly humbled and incredibly grateful - from within my heart this experience has touched my soul. Thank you.
Lion waiting in Namibia
By yaaaay (Originally posted on Flickr at The King.) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lessons learned:
Don't be afraid to ask (especially your friends)
Don't underestimate people (especially your friends)
You never know what will inspire people (and you'll learn a bit more about your friends)
You have more friends than you think who are willing to help you achieve your goals
Be grateful for what and who you have and what and who you choose to be
Keep asking
(as I will for this and The Wounded Warrior Project - once the Tough Mudder looms a bit closer)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Monday morning joy!

Infrequent posting continues as I try to figure a few things out. However, here is something that makes me smile - and hopefully does the same for you. Allow me to introduce yesterday's puppies on our rescue transport run! (Names provided upon request):