Yes, it’s true! I’m running the Chicago Marathon again this year, together with Samantha, partnering with Team World Vision to bring more people access to clean water with your help. Why exactly did I feel the need to do this all over? Read on…
I’m probably not someone you would describe as “patriotic,” in the traditional sense. I have a bit too much cynicism perhaps, or a bent toward bucking the status quo. But I’m glad to have been raised in this country, and I’m grateful for the life, the opportunities it affords me, and I have a deep appreciation for the men and women who have made sacrifices to provide this life. So as I was reflecting this evening on why I chose to run the Chicago Marathon a second time for Team World Vision, sitting in my backyard with the sounds of simulated battle reverberating off of every surface, I realized something about myself.
Sometimes life serves us an opportunity to give of ourselves for an ideal. Today, of all days, we may take some time between franks and fireworks to remember the people who decided to put their foot down against an oppressive government and declare themselves free. And if the Declaration itself had been sufficient, if England had concurred with the rebels, boarded their ships and headed home, then we would probably live in a very different world. But they didn’t – there was a lot to be accomplished, actions to be carried out, struggles to be fought, before the British would leave those Colonists to control their own destinies. Young men marched onto battlefields in defense of the liberty they so dearly sought, knowing full well that they might suffer disease or disfigurement or death. But they were willing to say “yes” because the goal was commensurate to the price.
Similarly I have always looked up to my grandfathers for their military service. I grew up in a family with 2 grandfathers, 7 great uncles (all of my grandparents’ brothers), and 2 uncles who served in the armed forces. My dad’s father fought in WWII, stationed at an air base in Italy. My mom’s father was stationed in Korea during that war. Having never served myself, I haven’t ever been in the position of risking my life for my country, but I admire them for it. I admire that their value systems placed such an importance on certain ideals that they were willing to go out and fight for those ideals. I admire that they were willing to say “yes” because the goal was commensurate to the price.
Last year was nothing short of life changing for me. The experience of training for my first marathon, the things I learned about myself, the emotional ride of connecting with these people for whom I am running, the blood, sweat, tears, and blisters – the FINISH LINE! – and I wouldn’t take back any of it. It was hard, much harder in fact than I even anticipated, and it took so much of my time and energy. Hundreds of hours spent running, prepping, stretching, showering, icing. I felt like weeks went by where I did nothing but work, run, eat and sleep (usually in that order). I got through it, I met my goal, I reveled in the experience, and I thought that was the end. But here’s the problem: the declaration has been made, but the work isn’t finished. There are still hundreds of millions of people in this 21st century world who lack the basic human need of access to clean water. There are still places in this world where children die regularly from diarrhea and dehydration, simply because they are forced to drink from filthy contaminated pools. There are still little girls who can’t dare to dream of a better future because their daily chore of fetching water keeps them from getting any schoolwork done. And I can’t ignore that.
But with so much to accomplish, what can I do? The answer: I can keep running. I can keep giving of my time and my energy and my emotion. When asked if I will run the Chicago Marathon again this year for Team World Vision, I can say “yes” because the goal is commensurate to the price.
So what can you do? There’s a “yes” for you too. In order for my running to mean something, I need partners who share in my vision, who believe in Team World Vision’s mission to put an end to the water crisis as soon as possible, and who are willing to offer up their support. $50 provides one person with sustainable access to clean water. Will you join me? Will you say “yes?” Can you afford to give $100 to forever transform the lives of two people? Because I can assure you, the goal is commensurate to the price.
Thank you so much. www.teamworldvision.org/participant/hovar