Infinite acts of kindness
WHAT? WHY? HOW?
I learned about the World Marathon Challenge in 2015 at a yoga retreat from a vibrant runner named Domitilla. I was instantly intrigued. To me, running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days symbolizes the interconnectedness of our world and the power of running to unite individuals of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. This epic challenge is a true test of physical and mental grit.
I think it’s fair to say that I was born for this race. My parents met in the 70s at the Early Birds run workout training for a marathon; thus, the distance has always had a meaningful allure. Though I’m a more talented multi-sport athlete, I love the simplicity of running. No fancy gadgets; no frills. Just me, the road and ideally a running partner.
Given that so few individuals have attempted this feat, I opted to craft my own training plan. My goal was to arrive in Antartica healthy, enthusiastic and open minded. I discussed the progression strategy with Adam, an experienced ultra runner and coach, who gave me his blessing. My plan prioritized recovery and meditation equally to fitness and physical strength. Woodway treadmill runs at Ripped and countless repeats in Central Park helped me tap into pace, distance and effort. I knew listening to my legs and lungs would serve me better than focusing on a GPS watch or HR monitor. I went for long runs after full days at work, long plane flights on a full stomach, and in all types of weather conditions. I strengthened my core and maintained a daily dynamic strength routine. I knew that despite my due diligence, there was no way to mimic the cumulative fatigue. I trusted that my daily mindful meditation practice would carry me through when the going got tough. Working with an orthopedic surgeon replacing arthritic ankles prepared me for long weeks on my feet with constant attention to detail and an unpredictable schedule. By the time January 2018 rolled around, I was ready. If you'd like to hear how the race unfolded, contact me at bEncouragedbymeghan at gmail dot com.
ACTS OF KINDNESS GENERATED BY THE WORLD MARATHON CHALLENGE
Mailed a surprise care package to my friend who moved far from home.
Checked in with a coworker who had dental surgery.
Sent flowers to a friend who had a sad day as her daughter looked forward to college graduation without her dad, who she lost 10 years ago.
I was befriended by an exuberant lady in Costa Rica who shared tips about the local community and brightened our day.
Visited patients at a sub acute rehabilitation facility.
Made all the kinds on the block hot coco after they played in the snow.
Cleaned the house and provided food for my friend who has stage 4 cancer.
Helped a lady clear her driveway of snow.
I let a lady go in front of me in line at the grocery store.
Sent a "thinking of you message"
Treated a friend to breakfast
Stayed late at work to help a colleague
Shuttled a group of tired athletes to their hotel so they could shower.
As I was hurrying into the bank I noticed a very elderly man standing in front struggling and ferociously holding onto his walker. I stopped and asked him the situation. It was very cold and windy. He was going to attempt to walk to his car by himself, but I escorted his frail body down. He thanked me.
I made s'mores treats for my coworkers today!
Neatly folded the laundry that was left in the dryer
Bought my dog a gourmet biscuit and took him for an extra long walk on the beach.
Took my niece swimming so my sister could have the morning to herself.
Collected and hand delivered a stack of encouragement cards to a friend before her big event.
I joined the Bone Marrow Transplant list today!
Compliments circle in pre-kindergarten today!
Bought a cup of coffee for a homeless man on a cold day.
Sincerely thanked my taxi cab driver for the ride and wished him safe night of driving.
Made a new employee feel welcome by making a sign and taking her out to lunch.
Finally asked and learned the names of all the guests in the homeless shelter at which I volunteer.
Gave my full attention to someone who wanted to talk.
Stopped during a run in Central Park to offer help and directions to 3 seemingly lost groups of tourists.
Passed on an exciting job opportunity to a friend searching for new work.
Dog sat for my aunt and uncle's dog for a week while they were away on vacation.
Got my doorman some Tums when I realized he did not feel well but could not leave the desk to go to the pharmacy.
Hosted a family friend for a week so that she could attend a training to advance her career.
Checked up with a friend who wanted to get on a good routine to help him stay motivated.
Accompanied an undocumented friend to her ICE check in.
I thanked my doctor for being my partner in my healthcare and shared that I appreciated all she was doing to ensure I have the best treatment plan.
Caught my neighbor's dog after he got out and brought him back to my house until they returned home.
Gave my umbrella to a woman who was caught in the misty rain.
Returned a wallet to a man who accidentally left it on the bus.
Donated a new bed to the homeless shelter.
Cheered in the rain until the last runner finished the marathon.
Held an arts and crafts party for the children in the building to make marathon cheering signs.
Drew a map for lost tourists.
Loaned my bike to a visitor.
Gave up my bed (and apartment) to out of town guests.
Let my friend raid my closet to form her costume.
Baked halloween treats with my girls.
Organized a pumpkin decorating party for all the kids in our neighborhood.
Unloaded pallets of books that will be donated to local schools.
Baked cookies for a friend fighting cancer.
Offered to rake my neighbor's leaves.
Connected my friend with a training partner.
Proofread my daughter's essay.
Took my family out to breakfast so we could have some time together since I've been traveling.
Spreading the word about the "One More Wave" Foundation.
Stayed late after class to tutor a student who is struggling.
Contributed to the Santa Rosa relief effort.
Donated warm cloths to the local coat drive.
Cleaned off my muddy cleats before coming in the house.
Wrote a recommendation letter for a grant application.
Showed my teammate a new riding route.
Provided a complimentary sound check.
Partnered up with a woman who was new to the group.
Let a woman and her daughter go in front of me in line since they were in a rush.
Helped patch up a Peruvian tourist after he did an endo riding down HH.
Let someone on the subway platform use my phone to make a call.
Made donations to those affected by the recent natural disasters.
Made the arrangements for a friend's 30th birthday Vegas getaway.
Walked my friend's dog when she was stuck late at work.
Helped an elderly woman carry her groceries to a taxi.
Gave grandpa a back massage.
Stay by my mums side in the hospital while she recovers from her injury.
Provided pro-bono services to clients who are recent graduates launching an environmental educational program.
Left a box of candy for my neighbor who recently became a widow.
Welcomed my friend from Miami to stay with us this week.
Lent my long sleeve wet suit to my friend who was racing in a lake that was colder than expected.
Developed a creative ice breaker to help my students get to know each other on their first day of school.
Hosted our Labor Day block party.
Gave my umbrella to a woman who was caught in a downpour.
Donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief fund.
We are housing a family whose was hit hard by Harvey.
I just signed up to help check in athletes at Ironman.
Bought my neighbor's son school supplies.
Drove my teammate (and his bike) to a race.
Taught my girls how to squeeze oranges to make fresh juice for Sunday breakfast.
Picked flowers with my granddaughter and taught her to make a bouquet for her mother.
Made sure everyone at SMMC had solar eclipse glasses!
Brought extra water for the girls JV cross country team.
Taught my buddy a new dance move.
Helped a mountain bike rider who was lost get back on track.
Stopped and gave a CO2 cartridge to a rider with a flat tire.
Paid the cost of a one day pilgrimage for someone who couldn't afford it :)
Volunteered Friday afternoon with special needs adults.
I donated to a friend's cause.
Told my coworker about a promotion for a free breakfast.
Hosted a family member for two and a half weeks (and did her laundry :)!
Talked to a friend going through some rough times.
Ran back to the house to get extra water so my family could spend more time on the beach.
Paced my friend for his upcoming race.
Let my little sister play cards with me and my crew.
We had a really good pregnant waitress so we left her a 50% tip!
Lent my friend one of my favorite dresses for her date.
Helped carry a woman's groceries to the cab door since she had her hands full.
Invited my neighbor's kids over for the evening so their parents could have a date night :)
Gave a confused tourist a swipe on my metro card.
Grilled up dinner for my family to give my wife the night off.
Sent my friend a funny video clip to lighten up her stressful day at work.
Left my husband a note on the fridge reminding him how much I appreciate his hard work.
Found someone's driver's license on the street and immediately, anonymously mailed it back to him.
Took a photo of a family of excited tourists. Turns out New Yorkers are friendly!
Mailed a friend going through a hard time a hand written card.
Spent extra time giving belly rubs to my dog. She couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't either :)