A Big Year
My deadline was quickly approaching. I had set a goal. By the end of September 2012 I imagined I would have a mass of runners to choose from to run the Relay. We had 22 spots available for runners to apply for. It would be great. Every runner would want to do this!
Then why did I only have 7 runners with just days to my deadline? Just 7.
If you do the math of 140 miles per runner, that gets the MS Run the US – 2013 Relay a mere 1,000 miles from the start line. With 3,000 miles on the docket, 7 runners just wouldn’t cut it.
So, what? Do I cancel the whole thing? Give up on a dream? Accept reality that this vision I have of runners pushing their limits, both physically for miles and emotionally for fundraising, just might not be that great of an idea?
I dunno. Letting it go just didn’t feel right. I knew in my heart that I hadn’t exhausted all my efforts. There had to be more that I wasn’t doing. And if I hadn’t done it all to get this Relay off the ground, then I couldn’t consciously walk away without feeling that I would be lying to myself; that I’d be taking the easy way out. I kept asking myself: Are you the type of person who does the things they say they are going to do? Or are you not?
So I hired a PR company. The first big expense for MS Run the US. And slowly the runners came.
Alright! We have a team to do this thing!
As the first of the year rolled around so did the runner’s first fundraising goal of $2,000-each. They hustled, they stressed, they pushed, and with hours to spare they came through! This was a scrappy, inspiring, and motivated bunch that had been drawn to the Relay. And honestly, they scared me. As they pulled from their networks and exhausted their efforts, I had to look at myself and realize that I might not be able to come through with the funding for the whole thing. I made promises I might not be able to keep. The deal was they fundraise for donations, I fundraise to cover expenses. Even if I stopped paying the PR company we just didn’t have the funding.
Had I shot too high with our proposal? Did I say the wrong things? Had I not asked enough people? Was I too confident in the vision of the non-profit without presenting concrete value to businesses?
My patience thinned and my anxiety increased. Every day I felt a subtle undertone of need. My mornings were filled with my clients as my brain was filled with the questions: How? When? Where would the funding come from?
So I continued to pray for patience, and endurance, and wisdom. The one thing I’ve always been able to count on. And the funding came. [Sponsors]
After months and months of unease and insecurity the Relay finally had the complete components to relay the runners across America for MS! Yet in my heart I felt both extreme joy and relief, as well as sadness.
I was really leaving. It’s my commitment to crew these runners, and so for the Relay to happen I can’t stay home.
I remember walking in my apartment shortly after the non-profit received sponsorship, and I took a deep breath while looking around. I love my space; this little home I have created and earned for myself in my little corner of the world that I love. I love my job, and I love my clients. I love being in Milwaukee, close to home and my family, yet happily independent. I love my boyfriend and our weekends of adventures and downtime. I love the comfort.
I have traveled and shared space. I had lived 5-years of a nomad’s downsized life. I have lived the unattached life.
I’m attached now.
But often our calling is greater than our individual desires. That’s the really hard part that no one tells you about when chasing your dreams. Though I want these things now, I can’t have them now. Patience is a virtue I’m learning to embrace. Sometimes we have to simplify in order to grow. And often it’s more important to do what is right for the collective community in order to become the person we desire to be.
The person I desire to be is one who does what they say they are going to do. One that keeps their promises. One that tries to serve others everyday. One that answers confidently, yes, to the calling God has placed on one’s heart.
So I will be leaving. I will be downsizing, and traveling, and sharing space for six months. As I slowly detach myself from my little home here I can’t help but remember that the “things” I have here are not mine, and that the gifts I have been blessed with are to be used to serve others; “For everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted much, much more will be asked.” -Luke 12:48. I am blessed with the privilege to relay our amazing runners across America for the MS cause. It’s both an honor and a gift to be a part of something so much bigger than any one person. The whole is more than the sum of it’s parts.
- by ashleyk
- posted at 1:35 PM
- March 13, 2013