On February 28th I did something I never thought I’d do:
I committed to running 13 miles.
Jokes aside – while I definitely wouldn’t consider myself ‘a runner’, I’m ridiculously excited about this opportunity for a whole heap of reasons.
First off, this isn’t just any marathon. It’s More Magazine’s ‘Run The World’ half marathon with She’s The First!, an organization dedicated to sponsoring the education of girls in developing countries. This movement espouses the belief “the best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women and girls”. Hell yeah, I can get behind that.
According to She’s the First’s page for the marathon…
“Less than 33% of girls in developing nations enroll in secondary school–and even fewer complete it. (Learn more about the global education crisis here.) When girls graduate, they break the poverty cycle and entire communities reap the benefits. 100% of your net proceeds* will go directly to girls’ tuition in our partner schools, because without us, they wouldn’t be able to afford their right to an education.”
How could I not commit to such a wonderful cause?
But let’s take it back a couple of steps here.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a fundraiser dinner party hosted by the amazing Selena Soo. The goal? To raise enough to sponsor a girl in Tanzania with She’s the First! The evening was a success, and really made me consider the impact we as women can have on the lives of our sisters in second and third world nations. I had to do more.
So that night, a handful of us decided to run this marathon to sponsor even more girls to change their lives; for themselves, their families, and their futures.
Choosing to raise money is easy. Choosing to train every day for a race that’s more miles than I can even imagine running right now? A little harder.
How am I going to get myself to train every day?
I thought about it for a second…
This isn’t just about training for a marathon, or even philanthropy. This is about training for life.
I’ve never really been one to set athletic goals for myself (with the exception of touching my toes more easily in yoga class).
I’m not gonna lie – even now, my mind is telling me “There’s no WAY you’re going to run three miles. You’ll collapse after 2.”
I’m teaching myself to accept a challenge, to do something even when I almost can’t imagine crossing the finish line.
To be all that we can be, as women, as people, we need to master self-discipline. We have to train our will. So I’ve decided to pursue this goal, not only because I’m such a passionate believer in the cause, but because small victories are what motivate me to push myself to higher heights.
We can’t change our whole world in a day. But we can do our part, little by little, to push the world towards where we want it to be. Likewise, I can’t transform from non-runner to marathon queen overnight… but by taking it one day at a time, I’m inching my way towards that goal.
Every day, I remind myself I’m stronger than I think I am, and that this cause is bigger than my burning calves, or the stitch in my side.
When I skip a training, I’m not just skipping out on myself; I’m skipping out on my team, on the people that I’m running for. It’s much easier to disappoint yourself, but its harder to disappoint others.
It is our birthright to be all that we can be.
Every journey begins with the first step.
This is a guest essay by Lindsay Krigger
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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