We addressed the economic stability of the home through micro credits, ignited the passion for learning in the household through free adult literacy classes and put a tremendous amount of effort towards supporting the health of mothers and children to tackle the worlds highest mother and child mortality rates.
Last Friday, as many wrestled with the idea of running the NYC Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I submitted a proposal asking that people use Charity Miles to join the marathon from afar, even if only for a few miles.
This was my own personal dream and one I'm not sure now will ever come true. However, had the marathon not been canceled, I am certain I would not have run. How could I face my community and my family and proudly say I ran in the 2012 NYC Marathon?
Why is okay for the professional sports players to play on Sunday, but not the average person who has trained hard and is getting paid nothing? Why do average people have to make the donations and sacrifices, while the professionals don't?
I began to truly grasp, with every heartbeat, every pulse, every foot strike, that I am alive and free again, in much the same way I'd felt in the years preceding the day my blood stopped flowing. Indeed I felt not only alive, but that life is the ultimate gift.
We should use this moment to demonstrate how New Yorkers and individuals from around the world can come together on short notice to assist those in need. A last minute effort to put together and pull off a massive marathon day of community service would demonstrate the true New York spirit and stellar sense of initiative that New Yorkers are so very proud of about themselves.
I believe the alternative is to simply hold the marathon one week later, on Nov. 11, 2012. A Twitter hashtag campaign, #NYCM1111, has already been started to hopefully garner the attention of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the marathon's organizing body, New York Road Runners.
I'm not saying the race needs to be cancelled this weekend -- just postpone it, Mayor Bloomberg. Your city is not ready. Help your fellow New Yorkers first and then worry about the bottom line.
You 2012 NYC Marathon entrants, stand up. Make your declaration that you will not run this year. You will instead make contributions, every one of you, to the Red Cross, earmarked for New York City disaster relief.
I've heard some people say that you're not a runner until you run your first race, or until you run 50 miles a week, or until you run your first marathon. Some people are even generous enough to say you simply have to take your first steps. I disagree with all of this.
It's official. I'm running my first marathon this year: the ING NYC Marathon 2012. Up until three weeks ago, I had never run more than a 5K. So how did I get here?
Last Saturday at the North Face Endurance Challenge outside of San Francisco, I encountered more than one unexpected surprise.
I am running a marathon. How many times did I have to repeat this to myself during the race for it to finally sink in? I am running a marathon... and I'm almost done.
From the lingering chords of the starting line's "New York..." to the crowds lining every street, there's really nothing quite like the New York City Marathon.
I worried I was going it alone at the New York City Marathon. I was wrong. I had the help of more people than I can possibly thank. From the stranger who gave me pre-race Chapstick, to the volunteer who let me lean sweaty and unstable against him post-race, I was not alone.
All soon-to-be, first-time NYC Marathoners, like me, know that the training is complete (through heat, rain, an earthquake, and a hurricane), so now it's time to get ourselves excited for the race and as prepared as possible.