This morning, just before 5 am, my wife dropped me off at the airport in Evansville, IN to officially begin the 777Quest. After a short flight North, I find myself sitting in the International Terminal 5 of O’Hare Airport in Chicago, awaiting my first ever flight to Asia. Surreal is the only word that can approach the thoughts and feelings flooding my mind. Not only am I on my way to Hong Kong to spend a few hours before heading to Australia to begin running 7 public marathons on the Earth’s 7 Continents in 7 days, but I’m doing so on the day that Donald Trump is being inaugurated President of the United States of America. Sitting at Gate 11 with a diverse group of the world’s citizens, watching the Inauguration ceremony in real time, it strikes me that I’ve never been in a crowded airport that is so quiet before. This blog is not about politics, it’s about people. The Triple 7 Quest isn’t about running, it’s about making this huge planet smaller and pushing the limits of what motivated human beings can accomplish. The world saw the American people elect Trump President in November and are now watching to see what happens next. Well, for some small pockets of people on each Continent, I will be the first American they meet following the Inauguration of our new President. That gives me the honor, privilege, and responsibility to personally represent the USA for what I continue to believe that it is: A Shining Light on the Hill, a place of inclusion, kindness, and positivity; a place full of Heart.
Surely everyone reading this blog knows about the 7 Continent adventure I’ve now officially departed for. Most also know about my Innovative Apparel and Ultra-Endurance Coaching company, Eternal Endurance. However, many are unaware of the driving force behind all of it, the thing I’m most proud of and most want to see succeed, a charitable organization called ‘Must Add Heart’.
‘Must Add Heart’ is a charitable organization guided by the idea that endurance athletes are very driven and talented people who possess significant resources that could make a huge difference in generations of lives around the world. All of my background, training, and experience have lead me to a position where I believe I can be a conduit for leveraging those vast resources and connecting them correctly with significant need in order to produce Extraordinary results. I have a Master's degree in Social Work but haven't practiced in over 15 years. Since I last practiced Social Work, I have mostly been involved with managing a broad spectrum of businesses from service to manufacturing to retail and wholesale distribution- all in a somewhat vertically integrated conglomerate, built one piece at a time. While away from work, I've been active in the Salvation Army and you know all about the endurance sports stuff. That all seems pretty disparate until you ask anyone who was present through my departure from Social Work and my entry into sales and onto business management, I always said I would come back to Social Work when I could afford to fund it myself, so I could do it right.
Must Add Heart is the vehicle for my return to the work I was put on this earth to do, and everyone reading this can play a role by doing a few things: 1) Keep doing this- read the blog, follow on Facebook and Twitter, tell your friends about the guy running 7 marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days, etc. 2) Visit www.mustaddheart.com. Read about the mission, send me suggestions, subscribe to the site. (Notice, I'm not asking for money!) 3) Keep your eyes open, both internally and externally for opportunities to help Host Communities in need and for how your own, particular, individual, talents could potentially help the mission and let me know that you are willing to help. 4) Support Eternal Endurance and other Corporate Partners of Must Add Heart by buying their products so they can donate the funds needed to buy materials/supplies to complete projects and connect endurance athlete volunteers with host communities in need.
In the last blog you read about my new friends, Sudheer and Ajay, that I met and ran with in Alabama. At the beginning of this blog you read about my plan to represent the USA in the best and most honorable way I can as I run the 7 Continents. In future blogs you’ll read about my contacts with the people I meet on each of the 7 Continents. Hopefully, with your help, all this running and traveling will turn into some great good for a lot of people- athletes and Host Communities. I look forward to adding Heart to the 777 Quest in more ways than one and challenge you to do the same as you move through your corner of the world in the coming weeks and years. We all share the responsibility to build a better world, to do so, we Must Add Heart.