The fall is a very busy time of year. In the fall school and sports start. This can be the busiest and hardest season for young adults. Transitioning from summer to school and normal daily routines can be frustrating and sad. I have found that doing a small amount of volunteering can be very humbling and can help clear your mind. So I challenge you to sign up to volunteer at one 5k road race and see how it makes you feel.
I have been volunteering at road races for a few years now and I have learned a lot from them. Mostly, I have learned that it is fun to help others achieve their goals. Often times volunteering at a race means standing in the cold for hours and handing out water or ribbons and cheering on the runners. The actual tasks are not hard, but waiting for all the runners to come through and battling the weather can be real challenges. As a runner you probably wouldn’t realize how much the volunteers are suffering from standing around and cheering and helping for what seems like forever.
Now after talking about how hard volunteering can be, I want to share how rewarding it can be. Sometimes runners will say thank you as they run by and it feels really great to hear that. For a runner to waste the breath to say thank you means that what you are doing is really appreciated. You also see people who are not the most fit or the fastest and yet they are working their hardest and they are happy for chasing their goals. Seeing these people can help you to realize that not everything is about winning. Racing and life are about doing your personal best and loving every moment nonetheless. It feels cool to know you are aiding someone in their pursuit of health and happiness.
As a volunteer, I have learned to appreciate the people who volunteer at events that I go to. Volunteers work out of the kindness of their hearts and as one you can see the effort other volunteers put into making your life better. Volunteering at a race is a good way to experience volunteer work and hopefully it can help you find happiness and real values. If you never try volunteering you will never know its wonderful benefits and rewards. Helping to make someone else’s day better can also make your day better. Gandhi once said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Listen to Gandhi.