I started running in December of 2011 while going through divorce. Running quickly became my steady in a world that was changing faster than I could comprehend it. It is hard to explain, what running does, but it seemed that no matter my running pace, it was always fast enough so that the hand of my past/present could not reach my shoulder, yet not so fast that I collided with the future. It was my time, “Tony time.” My only thought was on my next step. It was liberating and now I can’t imagine my life without the peace that running brings.
Life taught me early that there are those that want to beat the life out of you and those that want to breathe life into you. Sometimes it is those closest to you that beat you down. I am far from perfect but I try to be a positive influence in the lives I touch. And when I say I am not perfect I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite Billy Joel songs (She’s Right on Time), “I’m a man with so much tension; far too many sins to mention…” I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and I have done things of which I am not proud. However, I know we are all here to help each other and I know that if you want to smile, make someone else smile; If you want to laugh, make someone else laugh; If you want to heal, help someone else heal. It really is that simple for me, so I actively try to live my life being kind to others.
I have been running charity races for a couple of years now and wanted to find a way to take my charitable giving to the next level. The idea for this foundation came to me in early 2016 while on Facebook (I am no longer on FB!). I was reading a post about child abuse and was so frustrated with the fact that all I could do is “share” it or “like” it. I am not really sure what “liking” a post does for a kid who is in a rotten situation. I remember thinking I wish Facebook had an “act” button. A button that you could click on that opened a dialogue box with links to 10 charities that support the cause in question. From there you could pick the one you liked and donate either your time or money. Now that could make a difference! But being that FB does not have an “act” button, I had to find another way to take action, and Open Arms Racing Heart was born.
Folks, there are people all around us who are struggling in some way. They are our friends and neighbors; they rely on the supports these charities provide. As the saying goes, “none of us are getting out of here alive”, so why not try to help everyone we can before the journey is over? That is my plan for OARH and the legacy I want to leave for my sons to take over. I would love for all of you to take the ride with me. I am 55 (in 2020) years old, so I only have 30 to 35 running years left. Please help me make this happen! I promise I will run my ass off!