Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beyond the Epic Run (Part II)

I'm working on a new Cures Rock! fundraising project, which continues my journey of using the activity of endurance running to help kick cancer to the curb. I'll reveal it next week, but it's a campaign that seems almost impossible at this moment. However, when I thought about "going beyond the epic run," I know it's just a matter of putting heart and soul into it.

In May 2009, I added a blog post regarding my interviews with Serge, the runner in the movie, Beyond the Epic Run. I went back through my interview videos with Serge to draw inspiration, and have included outtakes of it below that I didn't include in the first post. Click here to read the Part I blog post.

Cures Rock: What would you say to other runners that would want to do something to make a difference, and run for something other than themselves?

Serge: "You don’t make big things. You first need to try to do well at the very small things, step by step, mile after mile, marathon after marathon…and that’s maybe more important than trying to succeed at the very big things. Just try to do well, step by step, whatever you have a feeling to do. And, never forget --- it’s a great chance to do some sports…any kind…cycling or running or whatever...because it’s a privilege to be born in a rich country and to be in good shape. My motivation came because I met a million people that are just trying to survive."

When I asked about why he was running for the kids and charities, he responded, "I was just running to try to do something well for my neighbor, and for kids, because they're the best things for whom you can run."

His team seemed to always be surrounded by kids as he ran because it was a strange sight -- can you imagine seeing a man run in the middle of the country, high desert, tropical areas, high altitude, etc.?! It’s normal at the Boston Marathon (where I met Serge and Nicole) to have 25,000 runners in the streets, but it had to seem crazy to see a man running through the middle of the Sahara or running through Cairo. "A lot of kids are coming to take a look. They are so spontaneous. We were running for kids, and in the end, we were surrounded by them during a lot of runs. The kids were our best fan club. Then you know it’s not just a sports life, but a human way of life. "

Cures Rock: Was there a moment of your journey that stands out to you?

Serge: "I remember running and raising funds for a clinic through Vision Quest that will fix the eyes for free. I remember meeting an 11 year old that was blind. She was so poor, she would have remained that way for the rest of her life, but the doctor fixed her eyes with a simple surgery. She was jumping up and down, and into the arms of the doctor. 'It’s a miracle!, she said. For the first time in my life I can imagine playing with my friends, and now I can imagine going to school.' With one small surgery, it was a new life for her. At that moment, I realized what we did for that girl. It’s amazing how you can make a difference with very small things. You can do big things in your life, if you just try to do well in the very small things. Every little moment matters. We didn’t change the world, but we try to do well step by step every day."

Personally, I think he changed her world. Serge and his wife, Nicole, took a step of faith. "We took the risk to lose everything before we even knew we'd succeed one step," he pondered. "We sold our house, car, and all our possessions. It’s easy to speak years later after we look back and see everything we achieved, but at the time, we had no clue if we'd succeed.

So many people are dreaming, but they do not want to take the risk to lose. They want to win AND keep safe. I think to succeed at a great adventure and a huge challenge, you have to take the risk to lose everything. And, after that, then you’ll be ready to finally begin to push yourself."

We talked about the Cures Rock! Campaign and projects, and he offered me some sound advice. "Just try to do well at what you have to do today. Don’t ask in your brain and hold onto hope for what will be the end. If you hurry and focus on the outcome, you’ll never succeed. Doing well day after day at all the small things without being focused on the outcome is enough. We may have no money, but we are extremely rich."


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