Tag Archives: Gear

Pay it forward

In preparation for the Mt Kilimanjaro Marathon that is going to murder me be an unforgettable adventure on March 3rd, I recently became obsessed with the idea decided that I would greatly benefit by wearing a watch during the run. Now doing this probably goes without question for most runners, but I’ll leave that for another post (aside from just saying that I prefer to run by feel – and I think that it makes me a stronger runner as well). Anyway, upon coming to this conclusion I had only 10 days until my departure. This means that I didn’t have much time to thoroughly research a good running/athletic/outdoorsy watch and order it and receive it in time. So what to do?

  1. Buy something quickly that looks good based on a few reviews?
  2. Buy something cheap that will be good enough to get me through (and thus it doesn’t really matter how good it is)?
  3. Borrow something?

So I quickly struck #1 off of the list. I’m not big on impulsive/non-anal-retentively thoroughly researched purchases, I can’t afford a new good running watch, and I do actually already have a good (Garmin Forerunner 305) watch that is with my sister right now (someone who strongly prefers to run by feel does not need two watches).

Frankly, #2 was struck from the list even before I completed the initial thought. If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a bit of a hippy. I don’t like to use things that are disposable, I’m a big advocate of reduce/reuse/recycle-ing, I bring my own bags to the grocery store and I prefer my bike and public transit to driving my own car. (No offense Beetle. Honestly though, you have been a real pain in the ass lately…but never mind…)

That left #3. The question then was simply from who to borrow said watch. Who did I know with a (potentially nice) watch that they would be willing to borrow me to take to Africa for 2 weeks? I asked around at school. No luck. I asked around among my non-school friends. Same. The fam? Nope.

Damn.

So, I decided to turn to the rather embarrassing (yet effective) default of so many of us 20’s-yr olds…Facebook! I posted the following:

Does anyone have a plastic digital watch that they’d be willing to borrow me from Feb 21st – March 10th? If beggars can be choosers, I’d be thrilled if it had a timer and a lap function. Your watch will have the opportunity to travel to Tanzania, to “run” the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon and will be returned in the same condition as when it left.

To my delight, with-in an hour I had enough smart ass comments from DFR to fill up most of one hand 3 seriously offers from 2 friends that I hadn’t thought to ask and one very random acquaintance, B, from high school! After a handful of messages, B and I decided to meet the next day for the watch hand off.

And what a watch I was handed–a brand new yellow Suunto Vector!

Please excuse the pasty skin, extra long arm hair and sad case of a rosemary plant

Please excuse the pasty skin, extra long arm hair and sad case of a rosemary plant

B is letting me a (brand new) BMW of outdoorsy watches to Tanzania!

I could not believe my fortune! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This was the best that I could come up with (over and over and over again) to express my appreciation. Why would B borrow me this? Money isn’t growing on the trees in his back yard (…at least I don’t think it is…hmmm…maybe I should go for a spin in his neighborhood…oh yeah, that’s right the GD poor Beetle is sick again…anyway…), we are definitely not friends much less good friends (…we were hardly acquaintances in HS…not that we had anything against each other…at least I don’t think we did…we were just a few years apart in a big-ish school…) and I have no idea what could be in it for him in return from me.

Unfortunately, I’m apparently a total open book (even when I do manage to keep my big mouth shut) because by the time I got back to my office B had left me a message explaining himself (not that he needed to).

Medium/long story short, pay it forward. This is B’s philosophy. He saw that he could help someone out – family, good friend, friend, acquaintance or not – and felt that it was his responsibility to do so because that’s what people should do for each other. People should not look to see what’s in it for them or what the other person has done for them to warrant such a favor. People should look around them, take note of what is going on, what other people are doing and dealing with, and take every reasonable opportunity to lend a hand and extend them selves to make someone else’s life easier. Now we are just talking about  a silly watch in this case (as B pointed out numerous times) but maybe next time I come across someone who needs a hand it will involve a bit more than a watch, maybe a bit less. Regardless, I should pay it forward. Step in when or before I’m asked to make someone’s life a bit better. I LOVE THIS AND I COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!! 

Not based on any religion or religious beliefs, I think this is a fantastic mindset to have. While many times – and for many reasons – people won’t help, won’t come through, won’t do whatever it is – however big or small – to help a fellow human, to make their life easier, sometimes people do. If we all were that person that does, just a little bit more often, this world would be a much better place!

So please, pay it forward. Do something for someone else today, this weekend, every day, every weekend. Do something for family, friends, acquaintances, strangers. If we all chip in we will be able to share a world that is a much better place.

What cool things have you done lately to pay it forward?

What cool things have been done for you?

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