I flew down to Miami last weekend for a marketing seminar. Sitting through hours and hours of meetings, my mind kept wandering outdoors. I couldn’t wait to fling my shoes off and run a few barefoot miles on South Beach. The warm sand between my toes, the cool water lapping at my ankles, the gentle breeze… I was going to be in heaven.
Being February and all, I assumed I’d be in spare company on the beach. Surely I’d be the only, or maybe one of a few runners out there. I was wrong.
I bumped into a whole throng of runners. But really, it was one runner with an entourage. Who was this man jogging on the beach with a group of loyal followers?
He goes by the name Raven. He has been running 8 miles on the sandy shores of South Beach in Miami for over 35 years. Literally, this man has not missed a single day he started on New Year’s Day in 1975. 8 miles, everyday, no variance. No matter the weather, no matter if it’s Christmas or his birthday… The Raven is out there running.
I ran for quite a while with The Raven and became totally inspired. Apparently I wasn’t the first. He had a group of almost a dozen “followers” gathered around him like 6-year-olds around the ball during a soccer game. Some chatted while they ran and some remained silent. Some looked fit and trim and some looked like newbies to the running world. But they were all there because of The Raven.
To those people, and to me, The Raven represented discipline. No, not discipline, that’s not the right word. More like promise. You could be having a totally crappy day with no end in sight, but you can be sure The Raven is out on that beach, and you can run alongside him. In today’s topsy turvy economic outlook, it seems like nothing is guaranteed: jobs, house, retirement plans, college plans. But The Raven… he’s a guy you can always count on. The rock. The anchor. The guy you can always run a few miles with.
8 miles everyday since 1975. Simply amazing.
If only everyday life was as reliable as The Raven. Unfortunately for the millions of homeless kids living in America, the only daily guarantee is more hardship. In honor of The Raven and his solidarity, I ask that you head over to http://www.runtellmanrun.com/donate and give $10. Please do it now, before you get distracted by something and forget. $10 may not seem like a lot, but it’ll pay for food for one day for a homeless kid. And if just one kid can have the guarantee that he’ll have food in his belly every day, no matter what, life will be a little less complicated. Thanks.