On April 19, it will be exactly one year since I started Running Hope to America. This time last year, I was preparing to take the first steps on my 2,500 mile run through the United States. It's incredible to think that one whole year has passed since that glorious summer, one of the proudest personal and athletic achievements of my life.
Being able to use my gifts of endurance to help to the less fortunate was a sublime experience, an undertaking that fulfilled a lifelong passion. As you know, the work is not yet over; the work is never over.
Run Hope has started a wave of charitable undertakings. It has inspired others to take on their own endurance challenges all in the name of helping others. The project is so much bigger than I could ever have imagined. My little feat of endurance last year was just the start of what I hope becomes the most profound humanitarian act of my life.
In commemoration of the anniversary of Running Hope to America, I will be posting daily thoughts here on my blog, meditations and musings meant to inspire you to take up your own challenge - athletic, professional, academic, personal - in the name of helping others.
Today's inspiration is posted below:
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
When I first came up with the plans for Run Hope, I was met with criticism. Upon showing people the 62-day travel schedule I had drawn up, the first response I got was, "That's crazy!" People that I knew, whose opinions I respected and trusted, told me the whole undertaking was impossible. That it couldn't be done.
But, not once did I sway from my vision. I was prepared to do anything to achieve my dream. If they didn't believe in me, then that was too bad. I would not stop. I was willing to hop in a van and do the whole run on my own if I had to.
It's not that I didn't care what they had to say. I value others opinions greatly. But, sometimes its necessary to get rid of unnecessary distractions. No matter what your goal is in life, you have to be prepared to block out the external influences that distract you from what needs to be done. This can be quite difficult and you will find yourself sometimes questioning the feasibility of your dream. No matter what, do not stop. Be strong. Arm yourself with a singular vision and go for it.