I’ve written before about extending myself outside my comfort zone, stretching myself in the direction of the person I want to be. Here’s an example of what I would consider is me “walking the walk.”
I recently stepped up and took on the responsibility of organizing a Rally for the Cure® event at the local 9-hole municipal golf course where I work part-time. Last year, a Rally tournament was scheduled, but was cancelled because no one signed up to participate. This year’s Rally tournament, scheduled for October, was about to suffer the same fate. I asked my boss if he would allow me to reschedule the event for November, and I told him I would personally take on the responsibility for building participation. He agreed, thanking me for stepping up. It turns out he really wanted to support the cause, he just couldn’t personally promote the event. So, he was grateful to give it another try, and offered me as much help as I might need.
What I needed to do, as organizer, was definitely beyond my previous comfort level. I needed to ask for help, solicit generosity, and call for people to step up. I found that it felt easier to do all this from my own space of generosity and purpose. I also found that by doing so, some people responded in kind. Not everyone, mind you. But enough people stepped up; willing to donate and play, or buy raffle tickets, or donate to raffle prizes. And, they thanked me for asking them.
I didn’t set personal expectations; I just hoped some people would open their hearts to support others, I wanted golfers to enjoy themselves and some friendly competition, and I wished our Rally would establish an event upon which we could build. I had no image of perfection locked in; no specific numbers, or weather, or dollar amounts. My only goal was a positive experience for those who participated.
The purpose of Rally for the Cure® is to spread awareness of breast cancer and support breast cancer research. Often in the few weeks before our Rally, people shared stories of their or their loved one’s battle with breast cancer. It wasn’t a question of if they knew someone with breast cancer; it was who they knew, or how many they knew. It was emotional—wonderful to hear survival stories from golfers, but, too often, stories of loss.
Our tournament was Saturday. We were blessed with unseasonably warm weather—sunny, with a light wind. We just made the minimum requirement for participants, but that’s better than no event at all. We did a two-person scramble, and everyone had fun; particularly the first- and second-place teams, who had their own good-natured rivalry. We had some very generous raffle prizes, and the raffle sales raised additional funds. Everyone who played came up to me after, thanking me for seeing this through and asking them to participate. It filled my heart.
And, I promised them we would have a Rally again next year, and my request to them was that each of them bring at least one other person, and that we grow this together. I learned that, sometimes, people just need you to ask.
Rally for the Cure is a registered trademark of Susan G. Komen™.