I sat in this very spot one year or so ago and I decided to do something which I considered big and way out of my comfort zone. I decided to raise $500.00 for the AFSP as a tribute to the lives of RHS Music Booster Dr. Fred Fiume and my dear friend Mr. Eddie Griffin.
I would honestly say that this entire endeavor of Running w/ Eddie and Freddy was 50/50 selfless and selfish. I was struggling with the loss of my good friend and shared in the pain of the Fiume family every day. I am a do-er. I don’t like to sit around and wait or search for answers to problems, I like to take action. Unfortunately in this situation I was at a loss. Nothing I could do would bring these men back or ease the pain of their families. Nothing I was doing, or not doing, was easing any of my own pain either. Nevertheless, I reached out to Joanne and Yasumi, told them my idea, and asked them for their permission to use Eddie’s and Freddy’s likeness and stories to raise money for the AFSP by running. They obviously gave it their blessings. I figured this organization, which Eddie loved, needs all the help it can get and I did not know if if would help me or not but at least it is something I can do and just might make me feel a little better. So I, bought a website, started a personal campaign with the AFSP and have been bothering you all ever since;-)
I mentioned before that when I set up the site I aimed high with a goal of $5000 but really only expecting $500. It would take me too long to count up the number of donations the two campaigns have received along the way but I can tell you that the NJ Marathon campaign brought in $5339.92 to the AFSP and the NYC Marathon campaign brought in (after a huge boost from the Fiume’s charitable efforts) $3795.00 for a total $9134.92! Incredible! Thank you seems to fall short but I will say it again, Thank You, Thank You, Thank YOU!!!!!
So after all of this running, hurting, healing, talking, blogging, and fundraising I find myself today a better human being in so many ways but still equally as confused as before. Through this whole process my belief in my fellow man, as well as myself, has grown. Like I said I had a goal of $500. I never expected the outpouring of love and support for these men and this endeavor from so many. I am very humbled and grateful to have been a part of that. I do not have any proof but I do believe that our donations to the AFSP have, at a minimum, made a difference in many, many lives and possibly saved a couple along the way.
Many people have asked me over the past few days about the NYC marathon and what it was like. I described it in my previous post but my stock answer is “It was equally awesome and awful at the same time.” Which is very accurate btw. But I have also said this, “If you want to see the best of humanity, go run or watch this race.” From the moment I left my house Sunday morning until I went to bed that night, I was engulfed in positive energy. Everyone I met or saw was nice, helpful, respectful, supportive, united and just happy. The most amazing thing is this, there was absolutely no reason for anyone to be any of those things. There was nothing in it for anyone. NOTHING! no money, no fame, no time gained, no position, power, advancement, degree, job, love NOTHING! It is just a whole ton of people either watching or running in the same direction… thats it. Yet, everyone involved in every way shape or form was together and just happy and supportive of their fellow man for no reason at all…and it was awesome:-)
In three days time I have experienced the above and where we are at today. Don’t worry I’m not going to get political here or tell you that we need to unite blah blah… I will share something that I have learned though through all of this and it has helped me understand things a bit more. This whole process has reaffirmed my belief that all people are innately good. This belief has not always served me well, and may not in my future but I still believe it and believe in it. All actions come from a good place. Things may get twisted and/or shifted along the way but I believe that people will do what they feel is best for everyone. Trying to get to that realization behind people’s words or actions is a very hard thing to do but since I have been actively more mindful of people’s motivations I have found myself much less confused than before.
So a couple of years ago I started running to get in shape. Since, I have done a number of races, ran a couple of half marathons, became a blogger, connected with nature, reconnected with an old friend/new surgeon, lost an organ, got a sweet tattoo, ran a marathon, discovered 90’s rap, reconsidered some dreams, ran another marathon (faster than Tiki Barber ;-)coped and healed from the loss of my friends, experienced the best of humanity and through it all found the best of myself.
I did not plan for any of the above yet here I am. So having experienced all of this, and still equally confused about life, I will embody the mantra of “Nothing changes by staying the same.” I will go forward as I did in this endeavor believing in myself, my abilities and my fellow man. I do not know what this blog of mundane adventures will become for I do not know what I will become, but I have some ideas…:-)
Thank you all for reading and coming with me on this journey as well as for all of the love and support! I send it right back to you.
Thank you Eddie and Freddy.