The 2018 Guide to Good Health is here! FIND LOCAL DOCTORS & HEAR FROM EXPERTS close

Why I Run

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The unvarnished truth behind participating in philanthropic events.

By Clay Nichols, Photo by Christina Harding

My motives are often a mystery to me, but I lie about them convincingly. In 2011, after just crossing the finish line of the Austin Livestrong Half Marathon, I was approached by a Statesman videographer. I think the cameraman picked me because he thought he was either going to get a useable comment or compelling footage of an acute infarction.

He asked the obvious question, “Why do you run?” I answered, “To set a good example for my kids,” a reply that lands on the truthiness scale somewhere between equivocation and total bullshit. A more honest response might have been something like, “With all the kids I got, I need some time to myself, and I was kind of tired of being a complete fat ass.”

This October, I ran in the Baltimore Marathon, and in Austin, I frequently got the question, “Why Baltimore?” My stock reply went something like this: “I have this buddy Kevin and he has a daughter with an autoimmune disease called juvenile myositis. He started a foundation called CureJM to support research for a cure, and one of his biggest fundraisers is his marathon team. He asked me to join, and I was honored to run.”

What a prince I am. While probably not rising to the level of perjury, this answer was not much more honest than the “for my kids” nonsense. I signed on for Baltimore because I love racing in different cities. I wanted to run a marathon this fall. The CureJM affiliation lent a nice halo to the long hours training out of the house, and made it easier to get permission from my wife to go. As I was setting up my fundraising page, my prerunning mind wondered, “When did we create this cultural linkage between running marathons and giving to charity? Some dude does something ill-advised and everybody else is supposed to open their wallets? How does that work, exactly?”

The fitter parts of my mind shouldered that thought aside and initiated a weeks-long siege of my Facebook friends. I set a goal of $1,000 because raising less than it cost to travel to the race seemed a little pathetic. As the first donations from soft-hearted relatives began to come in, the thought occurred to me that we undersell philanthropy to our kids. Parents and teachers generally pitch it as an abstract good that is an obligation or as something that gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach. And young kids, in all their innocent generosity, eat that up.

When it comes to giving and teaching our kids about giving, should we also mention that we sometimes do it for mixed motives? That there is more to donating than pure philanthropy? I’d be willing to bet that more deals in Austin find genesis at silent auctions and galas than on the golf course. There’s no better place than a benefit concert to hang out with like-minded friends and to grow your network. Many a quality buzz has been had in the name of a good cause. Charity can be a ball. Why keep that a secret from the kids?

I think it may actually be more honest to tell our kids that we get something from philanthropy. Not just warm, fuzzy feelings. That too. But more than that. The night before the marathon in Baltimore, I dropped in on the CureJM convention being held in conjunction with the race. I had hoped to scoop up some kudos for surpassing my fundraising goals. Instead, I was introduced to a number of the kids dealing with the disease, including my friend Kevin’s daughter.

Megan was a sandy-haired, shy tween, not thrilled to be forced in to conversation with some goofy graybeard babbling about running around with her name stenciled on his back. Kevin casually mentioned that he and Megan would be hitting the road as soon as he crossed the finish, headed back to Connecticut so she could receive the transfusions that were a regular part of her treatment for JM. That one got me. And then my act of charity started giving back to me. A short, sharp sensation. It wasn’t warm and fuzzy one bit. It was a mix of grief and gratitude. A step back to think about me and mine before heading forward a few miles, at least in some small part, for Megan.

Share.

614 Comments

  1. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website. Thanks =)

  2. This particular blog is obviously entertaining and also diverting. I have chosen helluva helpful advices out of this amazing blog. I ad love to come back over and over again. Thanks a bunch!

  3. IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžm a extended time watcher and I just believed IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžd drop by and say hi there there for your extremely initially time.

  4. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

  5. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I ave been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  6. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the content!

  7. Sick! Just received a brand-new Pearl and I can now read your blog on my phone as browser, it didn at operate on my old one.

  8. It is really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  10. It’а†s in reality a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Nice blog right here! Additionally your web site a lot up fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink for your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  12. Thanks for every other fantastic post. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.

  13. thanks for sharing Hi. I need to to ask something?is this a wordpress blog page as we are thinking about shifting over to WP. Additionally did you make this design all by yourself? Thank you.

  14. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  15. Superb Article My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  16. Im no expert, but I think you just crafted an excellent point. You naturally comprehend what youre talking about, and I can actually get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so honest.

  17. IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžd should talk to you here. Which is not some thing I do! I quite like reading a post which will make people believe. Also, numerous thanks permitting me to comment!

  18. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I ave shared your website in my social networks!

  19. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I ave read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  20. This very blog is no doubt interesting additionally amusing. I have picked a bunch of useful tips out of this amazing blog. I ad love to visit it over and over again. Thanks a bunch!

  21. Thanks for any other excellent article. Where else may anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such info.

  22. Read this Article Good info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  23. Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  24. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!

  25. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The full look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content material!

  26. It is actually a good and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you choose to shared this beneficial info with us. Please maintain us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about sex.

  28. Wow, amazing weblog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content material!

  29. This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

  30. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  31. Nice weblog right here! Also your site rather a lot up very fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate hyperlink in your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  32. You made some good points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most persons will approve with your website.

  33. Your style is unique compared to other folks I ave read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you ave got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  34. You have mentioned very interesting details ! ps decent internet site. I didn at attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it. by Mark Twain.

  35. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a logo new reader. What might you suggest in regards to your submit that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  36. Im no professional, but I consider you just made an excellent point. You clearly comprehend what youre talking about, and I can seriously get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so truthful.

  37. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, as well as the content!

  38. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It as on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  39. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  40. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person as website link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar in support of you.

  41. Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your web site by chance, and I am stunned why this coincidence did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  42. This site can be a stroll-by means of for all the information you needed about this and didn?t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you?ll undoubtedly uncover it.

  43. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I ave shared your web site in my social networks!

  44. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great pattern. Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad. by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  45. Keep up the excellent piece of work, I read few blog posts on this site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has got lots of excellent info.

  46. Im no expert, but I think you just made an excellent point. You clearly know what youre talking about, and I can really get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so honest.

  47. singles dating sites Hey there, You ave done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  48. I truly appreciate this post. I?аАТ’аЂа†ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You ave made my day! Thx again

  49. I simply could not leave your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply to your guests? Is gonna be again regularly to investigate cross-check new posts.

  50. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  51. It as really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  52. Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my website something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my site?

  53. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  54. This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  55. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  56. IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžd need to check with you here. Which is not something I normally do! I enjoy reading a post that will make men and women believe. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  57. I think other web site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  58. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren at afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  59. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

  60. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  61. I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own blog and want to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Many thanks!

  62. Ahaa, its good dialogue on the topic of this paragraph here at this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  63. Keep up the wonderful piece of work, I read few blog posts on this internet site and I believe that your blog is rattling interesting and has got bands of superb information.

  64. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  65. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  66. Keep up the fantastic piece of work, I read few articles on this website and I conceive that your website is really interesting and contains sets of great information.

  67. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, as well as the content!

  68. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉

  69. It’s truly very difficult in this busy life to listen news on Television, therefore I just use internet for that reason, and obtain the hottest information.

  70. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  71. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup.

  72. This post was amazing i read your blog very often, and you’re consistently coming out with a lot of great stuff. I embedded this on my facebook, and my followers adored it. Continue the good work!

  73. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Cheers!

  74. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  75. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  76. Thanks for every other wonderful article. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.

  77. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.|

  78. I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own blog and want to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Many thanks!

  79. I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make any such great informative site.

  80. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you have done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Internet explorer.

  81. Outstanding post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I ad be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

  82. Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for! The right to be heard does not autmatically include the right to be taken seriously. by Hubert Humphrey.

  83. Howdy! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Many thanks!|

  84. Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

  85. Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this web site needs much more consideration. I all in all probability be again to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  86. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I really like what you have obtained here, certainly like what you are stating and the way by which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to stay it sensible. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

  87. Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything completely, but this article gives pleasant understanding even.

  88. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  89. What as Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Good job.

  90. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  91. Wow, superb blog layout! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your web site is fantastic, as well as the content material!

  92. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually recognize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my website =).

  93. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  94. I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers.

  95. wonderful publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  96. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

  97. I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers.

  98. We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

  99. It’s amazing to go to see this site and reading the views of all mates on the topic of this post, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

  100. It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this put up and if I may just I desire to counsel you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article. I want to read even more issues about it!

  101. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  102. Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  103. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  104. Very exciting points you have observed, appreciate this for adding. Great may be the art regarding beginning, but greater will be the art of ending. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  105. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

  106. Usually I don at read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  107. I will right away grab your rss feed as I can at find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  108. Keep up the superb piece of work, I read few articles on this web site and I think that your web blog is very interesting and has got sets of great info.

  109. It’а†s really a great and useful piece of info. I’а†m glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  110. It as not that I want to duplicate your website, but I really like the layout. Could you let me know which theme are you using? Or was it especially designed?

  111. paraphrase) aаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒ?never sacrificed construction regarding feelings. aаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТž In any situation, however some people accuse your pet to be strictly attractive, Mozart in

  112. It as hard to find experienced people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

  113. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is also really good.

  114. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I ave been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  115. If I issue my articles to my school document are they copyrighted or else do I have several ownership greater than them?

  116. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

Leave A Reply

Banner