Sometimes you just need to say “thank you”. Now, this has nothing to do with athletics and it has everything to do with athletics, so stick with me.
Whenever you do something bold like creating a club or group, you have a clearly defined starting point, but no idea where it will end. I’ve started a few that are still around, but I’m not part of them anymore. I’ve also started a few that don’t exist anymore. Thankfully, last time I checked, I still do, though… I think…
Anyway, to find something that is your passion and share it with others is a great gift. To be unselfish enough to open it up to anyone is extraordinary and then to believe in it enough to carry it on for essentially a lifetime is truly unique and very special.
When the founding members of our local multisport club first sat down over a post run beer and batted around the idea of forming a club, I wonder if they ever could have fathomed what it would become. I know a few of the names and a bit of the history behind the club, but it has been in existence for close to 10 years (thanks Brad and Mackenzie for the correction). I have only been privileged to be a part of it for three years. I don’t know the relationships, the politics, the ins, the outs, the opinions. What I do know is this. If it weren’t for the Columbia Multisport Club, I would never have achieved many of the goals I set for myself. And these are NOT small goals. Because of the existence of this club I:
Lost 50 pounds
Ran a 4 half marathons
Ran a full marathon
Ran a hundred miles in a month (actually it was 124)
Learned to swim (overcoming a pretty big fear of the water)
Compete in a Duathlon (this Saturday)
Compete in a triathlon (May 9)
To some, including those founding members of this club, these may seem trivial or insignificant. Some of the founders of this group have completed multiple Iron Man’s, ultramarathons, and any number of other ridiculously hard human achievements.
But I hope they understand, even though most of them have never met me, how incredibly important and positive an influence they have had on my life. Even though they have never said a word to me, their influence on this community and the people in this club is nothing short of life changing and even perhaps life saving.
I know I am not the only one. The club now numbers between 600-800 people. Some come to play and socialize and work hard and compete. Some have come and gone even in the short time I have been a part of the club. It would be nearly impossible to meet and get to know them all.
But by the mere presence and attitude of this club, hundreds to perhaps thousands of people have done things they never thought they could do. I hear it all the time on my morning runs with the club. And all of them say the same thing. “If it weren’t for this club and these people, I would never have been able to do (X)…”
So tonight I walked up to one of those founding members and simply said “thank you”. It was hard for me to put into words for him how special this group is and what it means to me. I’m not a super active participant like some and I don’t socialize as much as some do, but it is a huge part of my life and something I look forward to daily. My clumsy thank you speech to him was in hopes that I could remind him that what he and his friends did way back in the day is still having huge positive impacts on peoples lives. Sometimes when you are “in charge” of something like this, you don’t always get to see or hear that part of it. But I wanted to make sure he did.
It’s funny… I think I know what they would all say. Something like “hey, we just set up the times and pick the routes. It’s up to you to show up and run/ride.” This is true. But without Mark and Joe and Mike and Brad and Mackenzie and Betsy and Sherry and a hundred others that either created this club or kept it going through the years, I wouldn’t be writing this blog entry. I wouldn’t have achieved my goals or be motivated to set new ones. I wouldn’t be who I am today or who I want to be tomorrow.