I’ve always had a thing for the superheros Superman (especially Dean Cain) was by far my favorite but I am pretty much a sucker for any kind of TV show or movie that features someone who uses their super powers to help others.
Unfortunately, I was born without superpowers. I know, depressing, right? But lately I have been really wanting to find something I can do that helps people, even if in a very small way. Three recent ideas I have had come back to my love for running. (Despite the fact that I could really use some of Superman’s indestructible-ness when it comes to running lately, I know if I stop always trying to push myself running and just run/walk for fun, I will probably end up hurting myself less and channel some of that injury avoiding power maybe?! Who knows…)
One opportunity that I have been really thinking a lot about is volunteering to help with Girls on the Run. I’ve read many good things about GOTR on the Healthy Tipping Point blog and it’s really peaked my interest in finding a way to help out. I don’t know if my work schedule will allow me to actually be a coach or assistant coach but I am hoping I can find some way to help out that does fit with my schedule. I think this would be an awesome way for me to blend my 15?! ish years of “baby”sitting experience with my love for running and being active!
A second opportunity that I have been thinking about for quite some time is completing a race through the Team in Training foundation. This is something I have always considered doing but I was recently contacted by someone at the foundation and it peaked my interest yet again! My only hesitation with this is the amount of money you have to raise to participate. My pool of people to ask of for donations is VERY limited so I am pretty worried about actually raising enough money to make this happen. But where there is a will there is a way so I am sure if it’s meant to happen, it will! Someday! I am actually sort of thinking about maybe doing a century ride for this in lieu of running a race?! 100+/- miles on a bike sounds downright painful but regardless, it has to be a lot less stress/impact on my tired legs and bad back, right? Maybe not, I really have NO clue about actually riding a bicycle for a race so maybe I better look at a few shorter distances rides in the nearer future.
My final volunteer perspective is volunteering for more local races. A while back, I had signed up for a local marathon in October thinking I would be good to go after a few months off running this summer after my MAY marathon. When the May marathon turned into a late June marathon, I knew this really could not safely happen. As much as it pains me to not complete this race, I know my body is not really in a state right now that I can ask it to do such crazy things as running this marathon. I want more than anything to do the Disney Marathon in January so that is my priority one right now. (This race may also be 90% walked but I am cool with that. More picture taking opportunities and still a HUGE accomplishment!) So to 100% prevent me from running a marathon in October, I signed up to volunteer at it. That way I know for a fact I won’t try to talk myself into actually run/walking it So I am helping with the expo and on race day! I had tons of fun with this last year and I am sure I will again! I’d also like to see if there are any other races that I can volunteer to help with this summer!
So those are my current ideas. Some may work out, others may not but I feel good about the fact that I have finally identified some ways to help others while still doing something I really, truly enjoy! Because to me, you will only enjoy volunteering if you are doing something you like
Do you have other ideas on ways to mix volunteering and running? I’d love any other suggestions!