...and change the world one high five at a time.
But really. Our mission statement changes on the daily (we don't actually have an official mission statement yet) but I think through trial and error were down to a couple.
*FREE T SHIRT TO ANYONE THAT CAN COME UP WITH A SOLID MISSION STATEMENT!
1) Run Wild. Do Good.
*simple, bold and to the point covering all bases of what we do.
2) Changing the world one high five at a time.
*arbitrary, vague but incredibly powerful and something I truly believe happens every time we throw up a high five. I mean, think about it. I always include it in our pre-run meet and greet as something mandatory that must take place. "High five people running by as much as possible". Two total strangers connecting and celebrating over something as simple as a high five goes a long way in connecting us together as humans. I owe much of this belief to a story I heard (and there are many renditions to said story but all the same idea) when I was younger. It's stuck with me entirely. "The Starfish Story."
When I initially started Run Wild I was humbled following every workout seeing a couple people get done, smiling ear to ear talking to someone they didn't know prior to showing up. You never know who walked into that run or workout after a bad day, after losing their job, fighting with a spouse or didn't get to talk to anyone yet today. People always leave happy. Hell yeah.
It started with about 10 people. It gave me a purpose to have a positive impact on even one of those 10 peopled without people showing up it wouldn't be a thing. THANK YOU. We're not a huge group but we're growing, topping out at just about 100 people at a workout this summer. I think most of those people went home happy, better off and with at least one new friend. I sleep better at night knowing that together we're making a difference both within the group (getting people outside of their comfort zones and meeting new friends while doing something healthy) as well as outside the group itself (raising money for charity, shoveling folks driveways, picking up trash, etc.). IF WE CAN CONTINUE TO THROW ONE STARFISH BACK IN THE OCEAN AT A TIME IT MAKES A HUGE IMPACT. If we can make a difference in the life of one person that shows up, we have been successful.
The last month or so as we're finally getting a big group consistently I've had my worries:
I was messaged earlier today by a woman (I won't say her name just yet or details of what's going on) who showed up to Friday's workout, had a blast and went home inspired. She's from a small town out of state and said she had been looking for a way to bring people in her community together where there is a clear divide and disconnect. She politely asked if I'd have any interest in branching out and seeing Run Wild have a sister city.
It made me teary eyed, immediately brought me back to why I started and put things in perspective. There's nothing particularly special about this run club other than we celebrate our differences and use running and working out as a way to bring people together that otherwise probably wouldn't connect in a different setting.
If you're wondering if I'm down to see Run Wild grow to another city...HELL YES. I think it's incredible and very humbling. I can't wait to get started.
I just hope in a world where you open your computer and read about hate groups marching, nasty things happening, people letting the color of their skin determine who they stand with, that you see Run Wild as a small, small beacon that acts as a platform for those that want to celebrate differences, to those that are fearful of hate group activity, to those that are outcast and don't have a group to call their own. I hope it's not just a running group for you but a family you look forward to seeing every week. If it is just a run group, that's A-OK!
I hope you'll consider coming out, being weird, meeting new people and joining our family.
Run Wild. Do Good.