"The pessimist sees only the tunnel; the optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel; the realist sees the tunnel and the light- and the next tunnel."
-Sydney J. Harris (a Tom Jackman contribution)
2008 YEAR IN REVIEW
Throughout Run The Dream's Epic 2008 Journey- Born out of Hope, developed through Vision, and initiated by Action- everyday has been a learning experience about how human nature, in Canada, shapes where we were yesterday, where we are today, and where we are going tomorrow, as individuals, and a society.
I'll be the first to admit that 199 Running Days, 8020 kilometres, over 40 kilometre as a daily average, with 800+ hrs spent running would be considered, by some, a milestone if achieved in one lifetime, let alone one year. But, one who sees these numbers would be missing intrinsic purpose for Run The Dream.
The merits of the obstacles should never overshadow the merits of the opportunities. On September 11th, 2007, six weeks after breaking my ankle, my cast came off. It was during those six weeks on crutches, that the body, mind and soul agreed the feat of running coast-to-coast could be and would be achieved! By no means did I have all the answers, but I had to take the first step of planning a route, which led to writing a business plan, which led to one of the most difficult steps- Sharing my idea with other people. But, one of the healthiest aspects of communicating your thoughts and ideas is accepting criticism. At first, it was frustrating to be rejected by two well-established children's charities, but someone once told me that "Success is Never An Orphan For Long." If you want to go far in life, whether personal, or professional, you need to surround yourself with a great team of people you can trust, respect, communicate openly with and who support your vision! Most, if not all, of Run The Dream's success should be credited to my 'Dream Team', and sponsors, who unconditionally supported me, from St. John's, NL, to Victoria, BC, and Terry Robinson, from Ottawa to Winnipeg. Run The Dream's objective was to "Help Jonathan Howard Turn Children's Dream's Into Abilities" and I thank the team for staying focussed on the mission statement.
I could never find a specific book about how to run across Canada, but over the course of this first major Run The Dream endeavour many life lessons were learned. Adapt to your surroundings is at the top of the list! This does not mean you compromise what you believe in, but rather admit what works, admit what doesn't work, make rational changes, and move forward. There is no shame in admitting mistakes, after all, we are all humans! The second lesson learned during the run was how building relationships is much more important, and sustainable, then the satisfaction of a transaction. Raising money is key component to any charitable organization, but many people I met had a greater gift then just the size of their cheque book- It is their time, dedication, energy, and access to resources I do not have that can pay greater dividends, for children and families affected by Autism, which is going to be a key foundation of gaining the profile this issue deserves in Canada and the world. Someone once told me that "A Rising Tide Floats All Boats." Every Canadian and global citizen can play a part!
For the majority of the blog entries I wrote, "The Dream Continues" Perhaps the beauty of achieving your #1 dream is the creation of a new "Dream List". For the next week or two the pen and paper will be in full brainstorming mode about how "The Dream Continues...". There are two items I'd like to highlight as we move forward into 2009.
Firstly, I need your help! There are many roads I did not travel but where television does. I received an e-mail from a friend who motivated me to put together an audition video for a CBC show called Canada's Next Great Prime Minister and would appreciate your feedback on my entry as we attempt to bring Autism Spectrum Disorders the profile it deserves in this country.
Secondly, stayed tuned to the Run The Dream website over the days, weeks and months to come. Every Canadian's support was greatly appreciated over the course of the run and is needed even more as we move forward together. I encourage you to stay up-to-date on events by signing up for the newsletter.
Lastly, but most importantly, when one chapter ends a new one begins. I encourage everyone who has read this blog entry to make a list of their 20 dreams. Under each dream write the first step which will make your dream closer to becoming a reality. Ask yourself this question- Why am I not taking that step today? Remember, anything is possible, if you "Dream Like You've Never Failed!"
The Dream Continues....