It struck me today that I am 30 days away from turning 30.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this milestone pretty much since I turned 29. I’ve eyed its approach on the horizon sometimes in amazement, sometimes in fear, sometimes in outright denial.
Part of me is horrified. How can I be turning 30 when I still haven’t lived abroad, ran Boston, written a book, or any of the other numerous things a younger me hoped she would have achieved by now?
Another part of me, however, wants to pop champagne. That part of me finds way more cause for celebration than lament. Over 30 years, I’ve accumulated a loving husband and adorable dog, friends and family I can always count on, and a beautiful, comfortable safe house to call my own. At 30 days shy of 30, I’m in the best shape of my life and more comfortable in my skin than ever before.
All this to say, I’m finding my peace with 30 (slowly… ever-so-slowly) because really, it’s not gonna be much different than 29 anyhow, right?
Yet, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t mark the milestone in some way, which is why I’ve decided to use this space over the next 30 days to draw attention to some amazing things.
I’m calling it 30 Good Things Before 30 and, while the concept is still a bit fuzzy, I’m planning on writing one post each day highlighting something awesome. It could be a cause or a product, an app or an event, anything at all that I find rad. I just want to spend the last 30 days of my 20’s, spreading a little bit of the love I’ve collected over the past three decades.
And so, without further ado (and I should note in no particular order), here’s #1 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30:
I Run 4 Michael
I just found out about this organization two weeks ago when I stumbled across it over here. It’s a non-profit that was inspired by this quote:
When founder Tim Boyle shared a meme with these words, a man with Down Syndrome named Michael replied: “You can run for me any time!”
And so I Run 4 Michael was born. The organization has paired more than 11,000 athletes with children and adults with physical, mental, and developmental special needs. Athletes simply dedicate their runs to their buddies by posting on the organization’s closed Facebook group a few times a week, sharing updates and photos and letting them know you’re thinking about them. At races, athletes sport “I Run 4” temporary tattoos or t-shirts with their buddy’s name on them and, I hear if you ask really nicely, you can usually score an extra medal to send to your buddy as well!
I am now a member of the I Run 4 Facebook group and #3034 on the waiting list to be matched up with a buddy! It’s a process that takes a few months, but judging from the amazing friendships I’m seeing on that group, I’m certain it will be well worth the wait.
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to just strap on our running shoes, head out the door and run. I Run 4 Michael is a great reminder of that, a great reminder of the challenges others conquer on a daily basis, a great motivator to log those miles, and a great chance for something good to come out of them.
And that’s why it’s #1 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30.
If you are interested in running for someone, visit I Run 4 Michael.