OMG, it was HOT! 91 degrees and high humidity! Runners were warned to take it easy – no personal records! Run317 is a local charity event that lasts all summer with 5 – 5K races across town – one per month. Last night there were 2200 participants who paid to run in the race to raise money for Energy Krazed, an organization that teaches youth at risk for obesity about healthy choices, exercise and mindfulness. For Indy residents it’s a perfect opportunity to practice “giving back.”
Although many of us were taught that it’s better to give than receive, the bigger truth is that giving helps us as much as it helps others. Let me explain: Giving helps us get rid of our stressful ideas about comparison and competition because there is no right or wrong to giving. Most of the runners weren’t running; it was too darn hot! True giving means you don’t have to prove yourself, only show up and put what you have on the table (so to speak) and it will always be enough.
Surprisingly, there’s an interesting added bonus to true giving – it helps us get past our limited views of who we are: I wasn’t sure how I’d do in the heat, but I spoke positively to myself when I felt like stopping and encouraged my legs to the next mile marker. Giving gets us past our fears. > Read more about the 1 simple idea to combat fear
When we show up to help others, it also shortens the emotional distance between we humans. Along the route, running through the Massachusetts Ave. neighborhood, local residents sat on their porches cheering the runners to the finish line. It was an amazing show of support and made me feel proud and thankful for people in general – we can always use more of that in our busy lives.
Finally, volunteering and participating in giving back opportunities is a great way to meet new people, make new friends and expand your personal community around things that interest you!! I like healthy positive people and there are plenty of those running races like the one last night.
There are countless ways to give back. I chose running in this 5K series because it keeps me motivated toward personal health and it supports neighborhood organizations that I value. I encourage you to give back often, and to make sure your choices to give back engage a personal challenge and your skillsets, as well as support causes you care about. In that way, your giving experience will always be a win-win. Check out VolunteerMatch.org for ideas. Set up a profile and they’ll send you opportunities that match your interests and skills.
Thanks everyone for reading, for your constant support and for living to the fullest. You rock!