I have been a regular runner for the majority of my life. In my youth, I enjoyed running with my dad, ran cross-country in middle school and it serves me to this day, as a way to alleviate stress and stay in shape. After a run, the first thing I do is pour myself a big glass of water, and with every sip, find great appreciation in having easy access to clean drinking water. There are many who do not have this luxury.
As a young boy growing up in Pensacola, Florida, I spent countless hours surfing, swimming, and fishing. I often found myself gazing across the vast sea or pristine rivers we fished along, and wondering what my life would be like without access to water. Water which had not only afforded me the ability to quench the unbearable thirst from miles of pounding the pavement, but many fond and unforgettable memories with family and friends on the bay. It was hard to imagine that there were people who had never even seen the ocean, let alone have access to clean drinking water.
Like running, surfing has always been a great source of happiness in my life and I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world to surf some of the best waves. Upon my travels to countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Indonesia, I became acutely aware of the absence of clean water to millions of poverty stricken people. I witnessed first hand how a lack of clean water robs people of their health and results in a plethora of disease and illness. I felt a wave of anger and frustration come over me as this basic resource is often taken for granted in first world nations, while so people in third world countries suffer severe medical issues from lack of clean water. While in Indonesia, I was introduced to the brutality of contaminated water, as I got terribly ill from accidentally drinking just small amount. However, the difference between myself and the millions of others experiencing the same awful symptoms, was that I had the means to jump on a plane and get medical treatment.
A severe car accident a few years prior left me questioning my purpose in life. What could I do to make the world a better place? I had the drive to do something great but what and how were the questions toiling around in my head. Water for the World Run blossomed from a seed of passion. My love and appreciation for clean drinking water as a basic requirement for survival combined with a great desire to help combat a serious issue. The ability to give others this basic necessity that I have been so fortunate to have throughout my life seemed like the beginning of a powerful course of action. Over the years, fun runs and walks have gained tremendous popularity and have been incredibly instrumental in raising awareness and money for a number of worthy causes. The idea of a fun run resonated with me and I envisioned a run that would not only spread awareness about this issue but an event that would bring people together to have fun and act as a catalyst for building great memories with friends and families. Water For The World Run aims to bring a new found appreciation for the water we have at our fingertips and do our best to make is easier for the 750 million people worldwide who do not. We want to give back and also inspire others to become the positive change they want to see in our present world. A twig alone breaks, but when they are bundled together they become strong and resilient. That is how I envision our run series to become a bundle of twigs running together to help end the water crisis for all those suffering souls beyond our borders. #WATERFORTHEWORLDRUN