Friday, April 04, 2008

Family and Friends Friday - Michelle

Yes it's been a while since I have last posted and I have work to blame.....I mean thank....er attribute that to. Busy, busy, busy all week especially when I had to travel out of town. I took my running gear so I could get in to taper runs prior to the Columbus Distance Classic on April 12th. But like I said work was crazy and I never laced up my shoes to run.

While the work was successful there is nothing better than making the trip back home.

Making my way to the gate at ORD, I stopped to have a late lunch. The woman in front of me didn't feel right taking a table for four so I suggested we share the table I was about to sit at. After our polite introductions I am not sitting across from Michelle from Ottawa.....Canada......no not Ottawa, OH......silly.

So the chatting continues. Michelle was in Chicago for a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show. Michelle helps with a volunteer group who raises money for and builds schools in Kenya. WOW. That is so cool. She works for the Justice Department in Canada, International Relations, which I'm sure is a great asset for this type of volunteer work. So the Oprah show on April 17th will be about this group and schools in Africa.

Through work and help helpful ways Michelle has been over seas alot. She has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro and the way she described the experience was amazing and has set a fire in my belly to do the same.

So I'm sitting there thinking, here is a woman who has really made an impact in the lives of others. Such motivation, talent and ability to do these things. I was lucky to be able to talk with her. Our conversation turned to running as she described watching two Kenyan men running on a dirt road during one of her visits to the country. Michelle has done a marathon and several half marathons.

I mentioned that I race in triathlons and we started to talk about Ironman. When I said that I had done IM USA and will be racing at IM Wisconsin this fall her face lit up with excitement. I really enjoy meeting someone who appreciates what it takes to do an Ironman. She asked questions and truly wanted to know about the race and my training.

Every once in a while, chance encounters like this really help me understand what I have accomplished. Completing Ironman AND raising money for the Komen Foundation was a very satisfying event in my life. Michelle helped remind me of this during a chance encounter in an airport restaurant.

But the story doesn't end there. I feel like a reporter because I wanted to do some research for this post. I couldn't remember the name of the organization Michelle works with for these schools in Kenya. So I figure a Google of her name would help out. Boy did I learn more about my new friend.

I found these three links that allow me to appreciate what Michelle has done with her life.

Wikipedia - I always read these with a certain amount of doubt but I found supporting evidence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Douglas

Department of Justice - Canada Website
http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/dept-min/pub/jc/vol2/no3/index.html

Free the Children - Michelle is President of the Canadian Board
http://www.freethechildren.com/index.php

So here is a woman who has accomplished so much with her life, is making a difference in her home country AND helping make a difference around the world. And she is excited about meeting an Ironman?!?!? The only way I can describe our indifference, yet passion, for what we do is.......

Because She Can

Because I Can

This girls got......Game On.

2 comments:

TriSaraTops said...

Wow. Don't ya just love good people?

Good people rock. Very cool you got to meet her!

triguyjt said...

isn't that cool, and how humbling is that for you to meet someone who is so focused on helping others and is such a PLAYAH on the motivational scale??and how cool is it that she is amped up on meeting a triathlete.

We throw a pebble in a pond and its cool to see the initial ripples, but how many of us realize just how long and intense those ripples last.

its just humans touching humans..its an awesome thing.