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What a Journey… and Inspiration

April 10, 2012

I recently flew back from Charlotte, North Carolina where I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing adventure; “Journey for a Better World”.  Nike started a 102 day, 4,800 mile journey on March 19 in New York City.  The focus is two-fold where the amazing endurance portion of the journey is fueled by Jason Lester, a ultraman triathlete and the sustainability part is engineered by Nike.  Jason lost the use of his right arm when he was a teenager, but instead of letting this set him back, it helped inspire him to accomplish things that amaze even the most accomplished athletes.  Now, Jason has teamed with Nike to promote their new sustainability efforts.  His part?  He is traveling 4,800 miles by running and cycling across the United States.  He started in NYC and will head down to Atlanta, across the southern US states, up through California and finish with a victory lap in Oregon where the Olympic Trials will be held.  When it is all said and done, he will have biked 3,800 miles and ran 1,000 miles, visited 85 Nike stores and inspired millions- especially those who were lucky enough to join him along the journey.  You can follow the Journey and send inspiration to Jason along the way at:  http://www.nikebetterworld.com/journey

My trip to join Jason was a whirlwind trip and one day in a 102 day journey for Jason and his team, but it meant so much more to myself and the three other athletes from Los Angeles who joined me on “Day 19”.  Below are the three other athletes who joined myself and Jason Lester (from left:   Jordan, Roger, myself, Rachel) (other photos are located on twitter @siblingtrivalry)

                                                                                    (from left: Jordan, Roger, Jason, Rachel, myself)

The day we joined Jason, he had run 34 miles the day before and woke up with sore legs (although you would never have known).  We were part of a 43 mile leg which turned into a 30 mile bike and a 13 mile run.   Jason stopped briefly after the bike, iced his legs and ate lunch and we headed out for the run.  Our 4 person team joined Jason after his bike and enjoyed the beauty and rolling hills of South Carolina.  It was an enjoyable run and we kept a decent pace.  We averages 8:20 miles along the run sprinkled in with a few sub 7 minute miles for good measure.    The pace started modest (8:30) and descended from there.  Jason looked good and still had time for joking during the run…. (photo coming soon)

Although Jason’s feat is at the forefront of the initiative it is not just about his incredible journey, but one of sustainability, new initiatives, inspiration and camaraderie. Jason combined one of his dreams (running across America) and combined it with issues that are close to his heart.  The apparel he is wearing is made of recycled materials and is a small component of Nike’s sustainability initiatives.  Nike is also unveiling new products along the way.  To view Nike’s sustainable products and their environmental impact visit: http://www.nikebetterworld.com/product

At the end of our run, we finished at a Nike Outlet store in Gaffney, SC where Jason was met by a crowd of people waiting to hear him speak about his experiences and what this journey means to him.  The admiration of the children from the Boys and Girls Club of Gaffney said it all when Jason walked through the door and was enough to send shivers throughout my body.  Jason spoke from the heart and very humbly about his past, his motivation, faith and journey to where is he today.  He explained that although what happened to him at a younger age wasn’t ideal it helped shape the man he was today and that even if he could, he wouldn’t change the happenings of the past.  He told the children to believe in their dreams and make them come true.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, believe in yourself and let that guide your actions.

I was honored to run by Jason’s side, share in his stories, enjoy the company of a fellow athlete and represent a brand that is always on the forefront of innovation.  It was amazing to be part of this journey, it is one memory that I will cherish forever and as Jason inspired me (and thousands along his journey), I too hope to inspire and motivate athletes and individuals throughout my life.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2012 3:32 pm

    So incredible! I am so happy you were able to be a part of this. What an inspirational story. I look forward to the end of the journey in Portland! I will be sure to let you know what happens.

  2. April 15, 2012 12:44 am

    Yes have been following his journey. I cannot wait to see the end result. Thanks for posting to FB.

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