Pay It Forward

How can one ordinary person — you or me — make a positive difference in this world? How can we change the world one favor at a time?

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I am a firm believer that participation in sports helps build confidence, teamwork, self-respect and respect for others. As a whole it makes people, well, happier.

Most that read my blog are those that participate in at least one sport and have seen the positive benefit that is has instilled in them. We are lucky to have had someone introduce us to sports or we joined out of curiosity and have stuck with it.

There are many that are not as lucky as us. There are two people, one a long time friend that I admire dearly and one I just recently met, that remind me how lucky we really are and how we should make strides to Pay It Forward.

Erin Hamilton: I met Erin when I lived in Georgia and we hit it off immediately. We both loved to run! Erin had an incredible job, worked long hours, traveled overseas and was very well respected in the company she worked for.

Erin and I after the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa in 2003

Erin and I after the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa in 2003

She decided that was not her calling so Erin started the local Girls on the Run organization in Cincinnati in early 2005 with her own money because she believed so much in the Girls on the Run mission and wanted the young girls of Cincinnati to receive its benefit. Erin now serves as the Director, leading the day to day operations of the organization.

Girls on the Run© is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Their curricula address all aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Take a look at how you can make a difference.

This is also the organization that my sister, Carrie, and I proudly represent in the movie ATHLETE.

Jason Lester: When I started to do research on the Ultraman I came across the website of Jason Lester. What an incredible story of his life, the obstacles he faced, his perseverance and movement to inspire and encourage others to endure and reach beyond the limits of what they thought capable. He started up

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The NEVER STOP Foundation which is dedicated to using athletics as a tool to encourage all youth, to have the chance to achieve their full potential. The foundation provides programs and learning opportunities that encourage its participants to think creatively about their lives while giving them the practical skills to turn their hopes and dreams into reality.

Jason was the first challenged athlete to ever complete the Ultraman Hawaii race. Now his main goal for 2009 is to participate in a monumental endeavor, the Race Across America (RAAM). This is a 3,000 mile bike race from one end of the U.S. to the other. Unlike the Tour de France, it is not done in stages but is continuous. See how you or your company can help:

TEAM UP with Jason Lester in the 2009 Race Across America ( RAAM )

Many thanks to Jason who has helped pave my way to what it takes to start on my Ultraman journey and continues to be a source of inspiration for me. Keep inspiring!

ONE DAY YOU MAY SAVE A LIFE:

When I was at the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon expo they had a booth setup to have people sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program. My sister, Heather, pushed me over to the booth and said, “She would like to become a donor.”  I was like, what am I getting myself into? I signed up and just received my letter, almost 3 months later, that they have added my tissue type to the NMDP Donor Registry. They also said thank you for taking the first stop to help save a life. There is no reason why we should not all be on that list. Please Join the Donor Registry.

There is a lot you can do to help others. Count your blessings and “Pay It Forward”!

Until next time…Midget…OUT!

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7 Responses to “Pay It Forward”

  1. Hey Kel…you are one small midget with a giant heart! I love you!

  2. One of your best blogs to date. Keep up the spirit. Love You

  3. I got a call 8 months ago saying that I was a possible bone marrow match. At the time I was 10 days away from having a baby and could not go on in the process because of the risks. Also, because Rylee was born via c-section I would not be able to donate for 6 months to allow my body the proper heal time. They said that in 6 months if there was still no donor I would be contacted again. I have not been contacted since and pray that there was someone out there able to donate!

    I remember someone asking me why I would donate because it was a painful procedure. I responded that I thought cancer is a lot more painful then the procedure I would have to go through! So….thanks Kellie for being a person who is thinking of the needs of others! Love ya

  4. Awesome post. It is wild how something as simple as swimming/biking/running can be the catalyst for so much inspiration, selflessness and giving.

  5. Great post. This concept of athletics changing lives is what “Race with purpose” is all about. Last year I had the benefit of coaching a “Couch to sprint” program for them and it was amazing to see how people changed over the 4 months of training. Not only did they change physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Suddenly there was something to look forward too. They had a childlike excitement of the adventures to come. Its an awesome experience to introduce people to something like that.

  6. Hey Kellie!
    LOVE this post. SO cool. Wanted to add that GOTRIbal’s whole vision is based on the Pay It Forward model! It’s what makes our growing global organization so unique….and so incredibly special for those beginners to multisport who want to learn and be inspired by those more experienced athletes in the group.

    Keep on rockin!
    Tanya
    tanya@elevati-inc.com

  7. Hi Kellie, Thanks so much for the awesome comment on my blog today! I’m thrilled to have stumbled across you guys and the whole ATHLETE project and GOTR organization. I LOVE that poster of you guys, and I am compeletly inspired by you to keep on doing my little training over here. It’s such perfect timing for me to find you and Dave; to see my personal philosophies manifested in film, in organizations, in ACTION! Anyone who knows me well knows that athletics saved my life in many ways as a girl and I absolutely believe in paying that forward even if it’s only to my two strong and beautiful athlete daughters.
    Danette (Madness)

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