A few weeks ago, I decided to participate in The Winter Scavenger Hunt, organized by Gary Robbins of Coast Mountain Trail Running. In all honesty, I almost decided to not register for this series of virtual challenges but, after having so much fun with the Summer Scavenger Hunt, I felt that this would add a bit of a spark to my winter running.
Since the beginning of December, I have worked my way through 9 of the 20 challenges, admittedly taking my time so that I have a reason to get outside in the really cold weather. Of these, the one that I enjoyed the most was “Pay It Forward,” a chance to give back by donating time during the holiday season. With Covid restrictions, I was hesitant about volunteering in a face to face scenario; an online commitment didn’t appeal to me either. Finding a way to pay it forward was truly becoming a challenge. I tried to come up with ideas one night while on a run (creativity often hits me when running) but I tossed them away one by one. However, eight kilometres later, the idea of doing something for animals popped up; I decided to collect towels for my local humane society.
My decision was inspired by two friends; I help one collect towels for animal rescues every summer and the other recently said good-bye to her rescue dog. And, of course, my own rescue pup was completely behind my choice of charity. I put the word out in my circle of mom friends, spent an afternoon picking up towels two weeks later and dropped them off just before the lockdown. I had so many towels that I filled the donation bin at the humane society and am now committed to collecting them again in the spring.
I find it a little ironic that the challenge that I found the most enjoyable actually did not involve any actual running, other than the running around to collect donations. I suppose that means that I made the right choice, that I paid it forward in a way that is valuable to both the animals and to me.