“She was unstoppable, not because she didn’t have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite of them.” – Beau Taplin
A friend of mine recently posted this quote to her Facebook timeline and it immediately reminded me of my journey launching Adventures in Thumbholes.
While my blog officially launched in July 2014, the planning and development were months in the making. It started with the confidence to believe in myself—that I could do it. I never thought of myself as a writer, let alone think anyone would be interested in reading anything I had to say. I continued on despite doubts and the sour voices in my head.
As I was planning the pieces that would make up my blog, I knew I wanted to differentiate it from all of the other running blogs out there (and there’s a lot of them)—I wanted mine to make a difference. I came up with several possibilities while running and then usually decided I needed a better idea by the time I finished my run.
Eventually I came up with an idea that stuck—the concept of Small Change, an initiative to encourage donations to organizations making a difference in the places we visit for our races and adventures. My first Small Change donation supported Push to the Finish as part of running Speedgoat 50k.
I was incredibly proud of what I created and was excited to start promoting the initiative to bring awareness and donations to nonprofits from coast to coast. Though like many things, it was slow to take off; but then I hit the media jackpot and was featured in Zelle, an online women’s running website from the publishers of Runner’s World. For sure this would be it—the Grand Poobah of press—Small Change would really take off now! Despite the wonderful article and additional press, for which I’m incredibly grateful, my little initiative was still only gaining minor traction.
While frustrated, I wasn’t deterred and vowed not to quit—after all, organizations were benefiting from Small Change (to date over 30 organizations have received a total of nearly $4,000). I switched gears and focused on partnerships, and after only a few months, I had four incredible partners and a couple more in the works. It’s a great approach to team up with those who have a mutual interest in supporting our race and adventure cities.
In early February, I landed on the US Trail Running Conference website and knew I had to be a part of it—what a great opportunity to connect with trail runners and race directors. For days, I deliberated on sending an email to the conference coordinator with the idea to include a “giving back” component to the program schedule. My insecurities started creeping in again—who would want to hear from me? However, I’ve become pretty good at taming negative voices, so I knew what I had to do. I sent an email off and to my delight within a couple days I was invited to join the Healthy & Engaged Trail Running Communities panel.
I’m incredibly honored to be a part of the conference. I will be among the most talented and celebrated trail runners and ambassadors of our sport. The program schedule is shaping up to be both inspiring and informative for trail runners of all abilities. Speaking at this conference will be good for me—it will force me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I can’t wait to share the story of Small Change.
As I reflect on my blogging journey, I realize it’s analogous to training for a tough race. It isn’t always easy or fun, and there’s certainly days when quitting seems like the preferred choice, but before you know it you’ve crossed the finishline. While Small Change may still be at the 10k mile marker, I’m well on my way.
I hope to connect with you at the trail running conference Sept 28-Oct 1—registration is open.
Today’s blog post serves as a reminder to dream BIG and that fear and doubt kill more dreams than anything else.