Hello Epic World!
Sorry for the delay in posting. There has been so much going on…time and reality speed by at a dizzying pace making everything so surreal.
In order to keep this update linear and logical I will start with H2OPE Day at the Nike World Headquarters a few weeks ago. On Wednesday, July 27th my amazing Epic Team hosted a day of events to highlight and publicize the global clean water crisis and the 306 mile run through Death Valley that I am gearing up for in November to raise funds for clean water wells. Oh, yeah–that is one thing that I should mention; the start date of the run is now 11.1.2011 and will start live from Nike Town Las Vegas! We are so blessed that Nike has stepped up in an *amazing way and this will allow us more time to raise more money for H2OPE!
H2OPE Day: The day started out with a book signing where I met a lot of really amazing people with whom I had some great conversations. It never ceases to astound me how so many different people–people with different backgrounds, facing their own unique challenges but still following their dreams–identify with the themes I discuss in my book. Perhaps because the desire to achieve, overcome, triumph and all the while be a blessing to others is, at it’s very core, a desire built into the heart of humanity. I wonder if some ideas resonate so deeply with the human soul that the same ideas are set forth over and over, again and again throughout history, albeit in varying (but original) ways.
After the signing I attended a luncheon that my team had hosted for me so we all could show our appreciation to one another. This was such a special time for me–to be surrounded by people that have worked so hard for months to get the H2OPE project developed, planned and launched. Looking around, I was overcome by how blessed I was to have such talented and dedicated visionaries to work with. At that luncheon I was introduced to some people from Hurley (Nike’s surfing division). In the course of conversation I discovered that Hurley has been involved with a clean water charity called wavesforwater. Through this most serendipitous of meetings I found that we shared a common passion for clean water access. One conversation led to another, which led to talks of partnership that lead me to spend the past 3 days down at the US Open in Huntington Beach where Hurley is the title sponsor. The Nike, inc brand is really a dynamic platform. Nike owns Hurley, Converse, Cole Haan and Umbro. I had the great pleasure of hanging out with Ryan and Bob Hurley to discuss the H2OPE project…. without letting the cat out of the bag – let’s just say – big things are happening!!
It was so exciting–and to be honest–a total mind trip to be on the Nike campus and see posters and signs about the Badwater for Clean Water run. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something…something obvious that I just couldn’t put my finger on.
You know how when you are busy–distracted–walking around, talking to people but in the back of your mind you have the feeling that there is something there. Something you are supposed notice but that is just not fully registering at the moment. Most people brush that feeling off with a half attempt of a mental note to go back and try to figure out what it was later. Yeah….I felt like that all day long that day.
Was it the excitement of seeing how passionate the people there at Nike were about doing all that they could to address the global, desperate need for clean water? Was it the camaraderie of working with all of them to make a difference?
My thought process went something like this: “What is it that’s nagging to be noticed and recognized? I can feel it there in the back of my mind. Am I excited about today? Yeah…but that’s not it. That’s not what the silently-screaming-to-be-noticed, half-born idea in the back of my head is….is it the joy of teamwork–that I get to work with all of these amazing people to make the world a better place? yeah, but…that’s not it either…”
Then it hit me. I looked all around me. Every single person there had been an important part of developing the Las Vegas to Mt Whitney run, the promo products, the strategy, the message. Every single person there had been working so hard, using their time and talents to make this fund raiser a success because they cared about making the world better. No, that is not putting it strongly enough….every person there was passionate about doing everything in their power to make the world a better place.
That’s what it was! I was surrounded by this fascinating, selfless, sacrificing group of intelligent, gifted and driven individuals who had all been drawn together by their common desire to make the world a better place for every child, for every family, for every fellow human.
And suddenly, the world was a better place.
The realization was so much more than deciphering a casual mental note. It was a breath-taking epiphany. I had been blessed beyond all reckoning to know and work alongside these people. I was not in this alone. This is not my run, my fund raiser…because this is not just my passion. It is all of ours.
In my book Running on Faith I talk about “already being at the finish line”. About how so much of racing, conquering obstacles and overcoming life’s challenges is possible if we first win the mental game by realizing and believing that it is already finished. We are already at the finish line.
The urgent need for every person on this planet to have safe, clean water is just one issue that needs to be addressed. There are also hunger, oppression, persecution and many other issues to be addressed. But in all of these causes the end game is to make the world a better place.
When I am at the starting line of a race I am not running through a mental list of all of the obstacles I’ll have to maneuver or what pace to run when or anything technical like that. By the time I have gotten to the starting line I have spent months working on my strategy and technique. When I am about to start a race I picture myself at the finish line. I know I can do it and so there is a sense in which it is already finished. At that point, it’s just all about getting my body to where my mind already is.
This Badwater for Clean Water run is similar. Meeting all of the self-sacrificing, giving people that I have over the past several months, knowing that the world is full of caring and willing-to-do-something people has made the world a better place already. Now I just need to do all that I can to get the word out, to raise awareness and to let as many people as possible know about what can be done to solve this problem by making a donation to Operation Blessing’s clean water programs http://www.ob.org/H2OPE. It is my job to inform and inspire everyone I meet to do all they can to make a difference. It is my job to run; to run for those who are suffering, To use the gifts I’ve been given, to do what I do best–and to do it for the benefit of others. It is my job to do what I can to make the world better for everyone–and to never stop.
Please consider making a donation to fund clean water wells for those in most need at http://www.ob.org/H2OPE
And please check out the awesome H2OPE shoe that you can customize at Nike.com A portion of the proceeds from the shoe will go to Operation Blessing to help provide clean water for those who are literally dying of thirst.
Give. Represent. Educate. Inspire. Do. The hope drought ends now. Join us in ending the global clean water crisis and we’ll send you a limited edition H2OPE t-shirt. Stand up and be counted among the lifesavers. Purchase t-shirt HERE
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for taking action.
Thank you for making the world a better place.