I Don’t Really Understand the Concept of Running for Charity…

February 3, 2013

I know I use this picture a lot - 'cause it's awesome.
I know I use this picture a lot – ’cause it’s awesome.

And I never really have.

Fair warning: It’s still fundraising week, and this post is in the same blergh-ish vibe of the last two days.

If you don’t want to hear about this stuff, please come back Wednesday.

So, sure, I ran for charity. It’s the societal norm, I suppose. But I don’t really understand why it’s a thing.

If you’re not familiar with how running for charity works – usually, you get a free entry into a race (many groups even give free travel!) if you raise a minimum amount. Different charities (and different events) have different minimums.

Let me get this straight. I get to do something I love, that’s already insanely fun; and I don’t have to pay to do it, because all of these other people are putting in enough money that I get to do it for free? And I get to feel good about myself, go to a special dinner for my charity group, have coaches who take care of me, and possibly even win other awards for raising the most (or clearing other hurdles)?

There’s no downside here is what you’re saying? I get to have all the fun (and perks/attention) while other people pay my way?

Of course, now I realize why fundraisers get to race for free – and why people are nice to them, and give them cheerleaders – ’cause fundraising is freakishly hard. Super, super hard (as I’ve said this week).

I always felt a little weird about the concept of running for charity. I was on the fence whether to do it for this project. I didn’t want anyone’s money to send me to Hawaii or anything (not that I’m judging those who makes that choice). (I certainly don’t live some selfless, reward-less life. But in this instance, it wasn’t the choice for me.)

So, I laid out a goal. Once the project was running, I talked to Rory about running for Broadway Impact. I said I didn’t want any bibs, any travel – any anything. He was down.

Then – this is the embarrassing part, but it’s already obvious in my journey/the blog, so there’s no hiding it – it took me months to take the final plunge.

There was some phone/email tag. I’m sure the people at Broadway Impact hate me. (Okay, I’m not sure, because they’ve been really nice to me.) But, I was just – to use a way overused analogy – very lightly dipping my toes in the pool, instead of diving in.

I was terrified!

Do you know what quite possibly my favorite thing about running is?

It’s all you. You decide if you’re gonna go for a run. You decide if you’re gonna push yourself. You decide. All of it. And for the most part, you are in complete control (barring injury-causing accidents).

What freedom! What a beautiful thing. You can fly!

But when you decide to fundraise, (shwoop! – that was the sound of [I was going to make some remark about fundraising taking the fun out of things, but it didn’t seem to go over well, so insert whatever you want]), you are now reliant on other people. There are so many variables outside of your control. And it is stressful – super, incredibly stressful.

Oh, failure...
Oh, failure…

I hate failure. Hate it. Hating it doesn’t change the fact that I fail all the time. That’s life, I suppose.

Some people are made to sell, to charm people, to raise money, etc. Some people like to do that stuff more than they like running. I am not one of those people. I am not good at that stuff. Why I thought I would be? – who knows?

But I just felt like with such a huge project, I had to try to do some good for something outside of myself. I started feeling guilty, like if I was going to do a big running project, I had to fundraise.

How these two completely unrelated things became intertwined, I’ll never know. But I jumped on the bandwagon.

And Broadway Impact was nice to me. They said it wasn’t about the money. They liked the enthusiasm and awareness.

(But of course, to competitive me, it was a little about the money.)

Again – I’m so unbelievably grateful to all my cheerleaders this year, whether or not they gave money. Don’t let my disappointment in myself make you feel like I’m disappointed in anyone around me. But in this blog, I share my feelings with you. And these are my feelings. (Stomach ties in knots…)

Tomorrow, I’ll move onto a brighter spot – how fundraising has made me a wee bit more selfless.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?