A close friend ran 60K today for charity. Starting 4am, he finished at noon. He did the same two years ago; and he will do it again next year. As much as he loves running, 60K is no easy task - mentally or physically.
My contribution: I was a distance marshal at the 55K mark. (Yes, a bit pathetic)
(Detour: while we were standing at our point in the rain, since we had a cooler box with us, people looked at us strangely - as if ' who are these freaks going on a picnic in this weather! :) anyway, almost every other passer by in a car offered to give us a ride somewhere; that was nice - it's quite rare in Dubai!)
It's also rare that people (in Dubai specially) make use of their hobbies for a cause. Guess where there is a will to give back to society, there is a way. And it doesn't have to be some life uprooting sacrifice.
I have wanted to do some community work for a while now. Although I have done the odd thing, I have always found an excuse not to be part of anything in which my contribution will make a significant difference. Don't have time, Dubai does'nt let you contribute in a way that is fulfilling enough, need to find something 'big' enough to be part of for it will be fulfilling, etc etc.
I had the opportunity to train and run 20K in this run. But no, who's going to train at 6am every Friday.
I had the opportunity to run a donation tent for Tsunami in Dubai, I could have volunteered for a week in Thailand when I was there last year.
On raving about the thrill of my profession (Public Relations), to a close relative recently - he asked me a very simple yet hard hitting question: How are your communication skills adding value to anything that matters in this world?
A colleague of a family friend, quite a high flying corporate individual, spends a few hours of his weekend at labour camps in Dubai; helping labourers complete their visa/labour forms and helping them understand their rights.
Hats off to him, to my ultra-runner friend, and to everyone who has got their act together and is doing their bit.
I seem to have enough inspiration to do something. Just need to figure out how I can be part of the mix.