Charity Water

A Look Back: What I Learned in Boston

As we look back on 2013 one story stands out against all the rest – The bombings in Boston. Every 2013 sports story, or coverage of events in the United States, or the world for that matter, talk about that fateful day in April last year when two brothers placed a couple of backpacks with home made explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Thanks to the BOSTON POLICE RUNNER’s CLUB (BPRC) I got to be there to race in one of the greatest spectacles in sport. For 20 years the BPRC has fielded a team for the marathon as a way to raise monies for a variety of community outreach programs, including Path4Teens. I was grateful for the opportunity and trained hard with the hopes of running the race of my life. Thank each and every one of you who gave ot the cause. Your contribution was fully tax deductible [501(c)3-75-3240064]

The marathon is a 118 year tradition, the oldest annual running event and by far the longest running marathon in the world. The city comes out in droves and each of the seven towns we run in from Hopkington to Boston are in full on celebration mode for Patriot’s day. For Boston 2013 I had one goal – to be under 3:40 (three hours and forty minutes) – for my age, 54, that is what I needed to qualify for the marathon in 2014. I felt strong all 26.2 miles, coming in at 3:38, a personal best by 27 minutes! I was thrilled. Then, less than thirty minutes later, it was total chaos.

LIFE lessons are found in all we do and everything is a mirror. After running my share of marathons I began to see some life and business lessons in the experience. Boston 2013 was no different, especially with the impact of the bombings. THREE come to mind.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – It takes what it takes to prepare and finish a marathon. A lot can happen over the course of a 26 mile race, and unless you have put in the “foot work” it is easy to get knocked off course and end up falling short of your goal. I put the hard miles in over the course of four months of training and reaped the benefits.

“Your life is none of your business” –  I often run for a cause, such as CHARITYWATER.org or serving the less fortunate in a community (Mazatlan, Mexico and Houston, TX). There are 7 billion of us on planet earth and unless you have learned to fit yourself to be of maximum service to something bigger than yourself, you are missing out. All of us have a part to play in our businesses. We are all connected and who we serve is bigger than our job or our company. This helps tremendously in during the rough times, and there will be rough times.

“Preparedness is not just a word, it is a way of life” –  We never know what each day will bring. The Boston Police department (all municipal services) handled the emergency situation professionally. In fact the police chief actually ran the marathon (the 54 year old ran a 3:34!) and was on the job within the hour of finishing, orchestrating the various municipal services better than Arthur Fiedler could have ever hoped conducting the Boston Pops. MBC has a litany of articles designed to help others get prepared for an unscheduled emergency, be it weather or terror related. “Saving for a rainy day” is not just a cute saying.  It is common sense.

Thanks to all my coaches, mentors, and to the marathon itself for teaching me about life and business. It has made me a better husband/father/person/manager/owner.

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MBC kicks off Charity Water Campaign

Ten days ago I ran the New York Marathon. Here were my thoughts just a short 48 hours before the race. We have now officially kicked off our campaign with Charity Water. Take the time to check us out by going to www.charitywater.org and putting in my name, Mark Schwietz. I hope you will support us in our goal to build some wells for those 1 billion people on our planet who do not have clean, safe drinking water.

Water is so much a part of our lives, we don’t even think twice about refilling a bottle or glass. Taking an extra 10 minutes in the shower. In Arizona thousands of gallons of water evaporate daily from our swimming pools and canals. The amount of water used daily by an average family of four in the U.S. has been estimated to be nearly 400 gallons.  Drinking, cleaning, food preparation, watering the lawn, flushing, etc. are but a handful of the ways we use water.

In forty-eight hours I toe the line with some 45,000 men and women from across this amazing planet of ours. What line you ask? The starting line of the NYC Marathon. We start in Staten Island, run through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Harlem and finish in Manhattan. 26.2 miles and some 2-3 million New Yorkers and friends from all points on the map will be cheering us on.  There will be water stations along the way, nearly every mile. Hundreds of thousands of cups of water will be consumed, poured out over our heads and bodies. HYDRATE is a mantra in the runners’ almanac.

But for nearly 1 billion people worldwide, their day will not be like that. They will schlep a jerry can (5 gallon plastic jug) nearly the distance of a marathon to bring water to their families. Water filled with parasites and disease. Dis-ease. That is what a human being feels at their core when some of their most basic needs are not being met.

There are numerous ways to address the problem and it starts with men and women like you. One-way is to support an organization such as Charity: Water [www.charitywater.org] that is building wells in villages throughout the world to provide clean, safe water. A well costs about $5000 and can provide water for 250 people for 20 years. Not everyone has $5000 or more burning a hole in their pockets, but you can still give. $20 will give one person water for 20 years. Get 249 of your friends to give twenty bucks and you just built a well. And so it goes.

“Don’t just do something, sit there” is an old wise saying. Collectively we can change the world. We can stop this horrific crisis where thousands die daily because they do not have water to drink and/or the water they do drink is contaminated. Is this a cause you can get behind, or is something else pulling at your heart? I invite you to spend the time it takes me to run a marathon (3:45)(I finished in 4:09) and find something you can support.

I could use your support in building a well. This is a cause we at MBC chose to get behind. Every penny of profit from our emergency preparedness products will go to Charity: Water.  All donations you make will help the thousands of us behind this cause make our dream of providing clean, safe drinking water for those who do not have it.  Consider giving a buck a mile or more. Thanks for your generous support.

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