Why I Decided to Buy A Medal for Myself and Sponsor My Own Winter Charity Run

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I've never been awarded any medal.

If we leave it to fate, I'll probably never own one, so why not just buy one eh ;)

That was not the reason which drove my decision though.

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It's not that I don't have any confidence in my athletic or intellectual abilities, my challenge was always against myself to be better in the field I want to rather than comparing & competing with somebody else. However it had been a very very long time since I actually set out to do an organised charitable activity. By that I mean to go out of my way with an absolute purpose in mind of doing something that does not benefit me.

Taking Initiatives Instead of Relying on What's Available

For quite some time I've been searching around for a running charity event near me but I couldn't find any. Why running? Maybe because I've always wanted to go for a run but have always find other more interesting things to do instead. I did look for other events I could participate in but there was none that matched what I was looking for. My criteria were as follows:

  1. Ideally it had to be a 5K run.
  2. Money should go to a charitable cause.
  3. A medal should be given on completion.

I wanted something that could be completed within an hour or so, otherwise it would be too much for me and Kushi. On top of that, I didn't want to do an event just for the finishing medal which most runs are about nowadays. I was doing this to help a great cause after all. So you may wonder why the medal itself was important. Kushi is only 10 years old and I needed an incentive to motivate her. Although she understands how doing good deeds is important, I also wanted this to be something that she enjoys and remembers and would want to do again in the future.

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I saw a lot of virtual runs where you would get a really impressing medal. You were able to choose the distance and do it at a time convenient to you but essentially you were just buying a medal. So that did not fit into my criteria. Other runs were too far in the future (6 months ahead) and quite far from where I live.

After a lot of thought, I decided to do my own thing.

So I bought 2 medals from Etsy (£3.50 each) and asked Kushi which charity she wanted us to donate to and she chose the Guide Dogs Association.

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Running for a Good Cause

I wanted to complete this in January so I got the medals engraved with the words "Winter Charity Run - January 2022". My next challenge was to find a place that was familiar and where we could run in a circuit to bring us back to our starting point whilst completing the 5000m. I couldn't find a loop running circuit and settled for a joggers route that was long enough, so we just had to stop at 2.5km and do the same path back.

To make it more fun and real, I got us to choose numbers to stick on our jackets just like in running events. With 2 bottles of water in my light backpack, 2 bananas and some snacks, we set out in the sunny yet cold Sunday morning. We jogged at a light pace and walked many times because we got out of breath. We stopped briefly a few times to look at swans in the river and other interesting things we found on the way but resumed our run quite quickly each time.

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Although I had looked up the landmark at which to stop to reach 2.5km, my pedometer app did not agree with the distance. We therefore continued a bit further along the path to make up the remaining distance and discovered new things we would otherwise not have encountered (like an under bridge homeless base, a hanging branch over the path to do pull ups etc) until we reached the skating area we usually go to by car. It was quite amazing to have come this far I must admit!

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We completed the 5k run in 1h10mins, longer than what you'd expect, but we were both very pleased with ourselves :)

Next day, I donated £25 to the Guide Dogs for The Blind Association.

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Why Go Through All This Trouble When You Can Just Donate the Money

Of course I could have just donated the money online but that would rob us of the experience and awareness. Just like when shaping the alphabets of the words you write on paper with a pen, your brain activity increases leading to better memory, similarly engaging in charitable events create more awareness within you as to how you, as an individual, is making a conscious effort to help others. Without going through the experience yourself, you may not fully understand the importance of your actions and you're bound to do less of those good deeds if the realisation has not happened within you.

Not everyone who shows kindness have compassion. Even a murderer may rescue a panic-stricken kitty on a busy road. People may set up direct debits each month going to an animal rescue charity to make themselves feel better about their contribution towards good causes and still have pretty birds locked in cages in their homes.

Awareness is obtained through experiences and therefore you have to involve yourself in the action to come to self-realisation.

gices
gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.
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