Don’t kids provide great inspiration? I was just in California and met a bunch of teens who were getting ready for their first marathon as part of Teens Run Modesto. What an exemplary model of mentoring and accomplishing the extraordinary! Especially with today’s trend toward childhood obesity, I get very excited when I see programs like this. They deserve all the encouragement and support they get.
Meanwhile, I received this email from a 17-year-old high schooler who plans to run across the United States next year after he graduates. He wrote,
… It’s my dream, and it’s what I’m training for. Please, if you have any tips or if you want to help support my endeavor, please contact me. I’m in dire need of both, and it seems as if all the companies I’ve contacted aren’t taking me seriously. Age is not my limit, dreams are not my limit, and my drive to run this are not my limits—my mind is set on this. My limits are support and tips. Mind over Body, that is my belief, and it’s been good to me thus far.
My kind of kid! Age is not my limit, dreams are not my limit: wise words from someone who might be considered “too young.” But here’s my response:
Dear M. B.,
This is fantastic. It’s a big undertaking, and my suggestions are as follows.
- Get your family involved as they will be your lifeline and likely your crew.
- It will be hard to attract sponsorship from corporations, but you should keep trying, especially local ones looking to support you.
- Lean on friends and family to provide you with, say, a van or RV so you have a place to stay.
- Get a hold of the local newspapers and ask them to do a big splash. I would be happy to do an interview after talking with you, if you think it will help you get coverage.
- See if you can gain support via Facebook, and get a blog-based Web site going.
- Have someone, like one of your high school coaches, call a news tip in to a TV affiliate for starters.
- Do a fundraiser, such as a car wash, to get your school behind you.
Keep in touch, and let’s bounce some ideas around.
Have any ideas for our young runner on garnering support? Please post ’em here!