From Passion to Purpose – Part 1

Julie, here…

I wanna tell you about something really cool happening in our town.

In our [rather hip] town of Boise, Idaho, we have an extensive network of trails in the Ridge to Rivers trail system: about 170 miles – great for hiking, trail running and mountain biking. For the past few years there has been an event called the Boise Trails Challenge. Participants have 30 days to cover part or all of these trails, by bicycle or on foot, or both. In order to connect and link all the trails, the total number of miles covered ends up being about 250.

Super cool event. Lemme give you a little back story on it…

Okay, so a few years ago, a couple avid mountain bikers in the area decided to create this challenge of covering the trails in the Ridge to Rivers trail system. They sketched it out on paper and the idea spread organically. More and more folks of varying ability levels joined the fun. An app was created to help facilitate the event, and athletes were able to sync their Strava (an online tracker for running, biking, swimming, etc.) accounts. And then…

… and then – tragically, so sadly – Jason, one of the founders of the event, died in a mountain biking accident, leaving behind a wife and young children.

This once festive celebration of our trails system took a somber turn.

But of course, the story doesn’t end there.

Friends and fellow bike enthusiasts took up the torch and decided to continue Jason’s legacy and love of the local trails. Members of our community have rallied to continue the Boise Trails Challenge, and a portion of proceeds from the event go to help support his family.

My hubby Jeff met with some of the now-race-directors and proposed making a short film of the event, telling Jason’s story, and including highlights of other folks participating in the challenge. There are donors, a film crew, a production team, and lots of happy bikers, trail runners and hikers out on the trails (like, over 1000 of them!).

How cool is that? This is a great example of people working together to put good in the world. What’s not to love? Jason’s legacy is honored, people are enjoying the great outdoors and getting out of their ruts, mental and physical tenacity are tested, bodies and minds and immune systems are strengthened, stress is reduced (exercise is considered an antidepressant) and community is built.

Hubby and I just feel so dang proud to be part of this whole beautiful thing, fully aware of the goodness surrounding it.

How about you?

As a person wanting to make a positive difference in the world, how can you see your passions turn into something good for your community? Take a few moments to daydream and see where your imagination leads.

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