I have a feeling that there will be other posts with very similar titles in the next year. This crazy idea of mine is really starting to take off and sometimes I think to myself,
"What the crap are you doing?!"
Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to pull it off. These are usually my thought processes after I've spent an afternoon emailing potential sponsors or corporations to see if anyone could assist me and no one replies. I've talked from the beginning about this whole thing not being about me, but rather, it being about Guide Dogs and how it will take a whole host of people to pull off. The silence is hard to swallow sometimes, but when someone brushes this challenge off as "something that we deal with every day," my faith in the chance of this being a success begins to wane. (I had one running shop tell me that! So, blind people run from one country to another every day? If so, can I speak to them so they can give me some tips)? Despite these reactions, all it takes is one person who surprises you with their kindness and support and it all seems possible again.
The last couple of days I was having a little doubt party. I had talked to a few different people about my challenge and I was greeted with indifference and suggestions of starting smaller. I've run into these attitudes before, but they were usually intermingled with votes of confidence and someone willing to lend a hand. The latter had been missing and I was getting a bit worried, but my bad attitude was beaten back this afternoon.
This afternoon Mr. K and I wandered over to our gym which has a Sweatshop-running clothing store-in its foyer. I am in desperate need of a few more running outfits and you can never have too many pairs of running socks. We also had the intentions of looking at some shoes for me as well. The guy behind the counter has been there before when we've gone in and he was incredibly friendly and helpful.
Mr. K and I meandered through the store, finding a purple and grey running t-shirt on the sale rack in the correct size and then settling for a pair of black and white running pants-trousers-that weren't so much on the sale rack. Once we had the clothes in hand, Mr. K suggested I check out the shoes. I wasn't going to initially. I figured I had a few good months out of the shoes I had now, but he convinced me by aptly pointing out that the pair I have are of a cheaper quality and really do need replacing.
The salesman spent a good part of an hour going through various brands and styles with me. Mr. K explained to him exactly what I was doing and that I'd need a shoe that was meant for a lot of miles. Originally I had tried on a pair of Nike shoes, but he had me try on a couple of more brands just to make sure I was getting what was comfortable. I'm glad he did because I walked out with a completely different pair, even though it was a close toss up between the ones I got and the Nikes.
Upon check out he seemed slightly preoccupied and then surprised us by taking ten percent off of the whole purchase which included running shoes, pants, t-shirt and two pairs of socks. He then gave me a voucher for an online 16 week training plan and then tossed in half a dozen or so power bars just for good measure. He also suggested that I contact the Sweatshop and speak to them about any assistance they could provide. He even pulled up the website and described to us where to go to contact the right people. It was so generous of him.
It was with this act of kindness my faith in my crazy idea was restored. He'll probably never know how much of an impact his gesture had.
It's going to be the little things that get me through this adventure. :)