Does the above image look familiar? Possibly from a social media post we sent out this time last week? Either way, please read on. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed..
•if you didn't send in "payment" this week, I still want you to show up and run with us.
•if you plan to never send in payment, I still want you to show up.
•if you send in payment once every month, definitely show up.
Im not holding grudges against anyone or the group in general. I boldly want to see this take flight.*
When I started Run Wild CLE (RWC) the intention was to have a fun loving, all inclusive running group that was structured to bring a youthful energy back to running and bring positive change to our community. Beyond that, the intention was to have zero agenda; not pushing products, not affiliated with any store or foundation (I work at 2nd Sole in Lakewood so naturally there's going to be an organic affiliation). I simply wanted to get people together for a good time and a good sweat.
As RWC has grown and evolved over the short time we've been consistently meeting for runs and workout, I think we've accomplished bringing fun back to running and bringing people together. Big group or small group it's incredibly rewarding to see people laughing and smiling as they're finishing up with at least one new friend. Many of you can probably say you've done a "Hoisty" with someone you've never met or someone you'd probably never walk up to and start a conversation with. HELL YEAH TO THAT.
Most recently and most important to this blog, we've added a new element to RWC that I'm grateful for and am going to push hard to make a legitimate component of the platform (even if it ends up being the downfall of this group). Workouts were free...totally free, no registration...just show up. Awesome. The above graphic and the reason I'm motivated to write this is that I announced Thursday of last week that the workouts would no longer be free. It probably caught some attention, or at least I hope. I asked that your payment for the workout now be to do one nice thing for someone or something in the week to follow. Something as simple as picking up a piece of trash or holding the door, one simple thing. I'd love to see people do bigger things like mowing their elderly neighbors lawn, driving someone to work, paying for a stranger's coffee, etc. My request was one nice thing in the week following the run and also that you either share it publicly (to inspire others to join the movement and do something nice/keep yourself accountable) or at the very least, message me or email me telling of your act of kindness (it's really rewarding for me to be a catalyst for positivity and kindness and I was/am looking forward to reading about what folks are able to come up with). At the run last Friday, I announced the change before we started and 95% of the 40 people in attendance were in agreement and many even verbally said yes to some extent.
Can I seriously expect to get 100% participation in this? Absolutely not. If I get 40 people out, realistically I'd be content with 5 people taking the time to respond.
To be blunt, I did not put that post out, that idea forward or make that announcement before our run to be cute. I really didn't. I didn't put it out there to get likes or get a positive response on social media. I put it out there because I genuinely believe in being a kind, good person and I want that to reflect and radiate as far and wide as possible. This is one small and silly attempt at that but I believe in it. If I'm going to dedicate my free time to show up for these things once a week, I think it's not too much to do one nice thing over the course of one week and take 2 minutes to tell me about it (again, publicly or privately). If you did something nice and didn't tell me, I'm seriously OK with that.
It's so incredibly easy in the modern world of social media to scroll past something that pulls at your emotions, double tap and move on, forgetting about it within the hour. Is this actually doing anything to affect positive change internally or externally? No...hell no. That's a big part of the vast general problem I think the world is facing today. We're losing the face to face, the human connection. We can write about it, we can talk about it and we can double tap until our thumbs our sore (or our phone dies). WE WANT TO MAKE REAL CHANGE.
...did I yet mention that I got one person post about picking up trash post last Friday's workout? I know it's only the first week and something like this takes time to catch on (which is part of the reason I'm writing this), but there were 40 people there. I'm very serious about this "payment" and it's how I justify continuing efforts and time to keep this group going. It's something I truly believe the world needs more of. I truly don't think it's too much to ask. I'm aware I may lose some folks who are offended by the demand (and again, you DO NOT need to partake in posting but 1 out of 40 just isn't going to cut it...) but this is something that I very seriously am implementing as a major component of Run Wild CLE moving forward and I'd rather stick to a small, incredible group of people than serve a big group that strays from where my passions lie. On that note, just imagine if you were part of a big group of, positive, like-minded difference makers in your community? Isn't that powerful and exciting? I'm not just here to say go run 3 miles or give me 10 burpees. I want Run Wild CLE to be a platform that inspires and generates positive change in our community and beyond.
I hope in reading this word vomit blog post that you are inspired to help someone or something, show up to an RWC workout instead of turning away from the challenge...
PLEASE consider helping your neighbor and maybe even talk about it a bit. Invite some friends to take part. Your small act of kindness will indefinitely make the world a better place.
THANK YOU and GOOD VIBES TO YA!