I met my local ambassador for the first time at 5:20a.m on a cold dark morning on April Fools day. Simply mind-boggling; and I want to believe no other fellow in the history of Atlas Corps has met his or her local ambassador for the first time at such a time (I might be wrong- stranger things do happen after all).
The reason behind all this was pretty simple, we volunteered for the annual Cherry Blossom Ten mile race and our job basically was to hand out water to the runners at the ninth mile water station but it did not just stop there- we cheered the runners on, encouraged them and sometimes call out their names in loud shouts. I wondered how the whole experience would pan out; truth is it was great all thanks to Linda Price.
Now the interesting part, who made it? The female winners came in first followed by the male winners (females start the race before the male runners). These groups of winners known as the Elite runners come from all over the world; one could see they had fully trained focused on winning. From then on other runners ran past the ninth mile station these included men and women of all ages, children, teenagers and one could see determination in all the diverse faces with some just running past the station, some finally stopping for some water, some asking for Gatorade instead, others asking if they were on the ninth mile and in all this what struck me as amazing was some of the runners still had some energy left to simply say, ‘Thank you’ to the volunteers- that to me was incredible. Why? Because here you are having run several miles, your body is all tired and you are taking each step to reach the finish line, very breathless and in that instant you remember without even thinking about it to thank the volunteers as you run. The runners were all winners yesterday.
Volunteering is great, you get to experience something new, meet new people, feel great about yourself plus it makes you appreciate the little things out there- I would encourage us all to keep an open mind and try it once in a while or as much as possible but be careful it is addictive.