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November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks, and Giving Back

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
- John Wesley, 1703-1791

It’s no exaggeration to say that a lot of good has come my way because of this blog.

There have been countless times over the past six years when I had no idea what direction this website was going: just as my athletic interests and areas of athletic focus have developed in a meandering fashion, the subject matter of my writing has been absolutely all over the map. At various points in my tenure here I’ve been a pop culture fiend (with a borderline disturbing fixation on musical starlets), hardcore triathlete, muckraking journalist, neurotically befuddled family man, wide-eyed adventurer and ultrarunner, extemporaneous music critic, amateur gear reviewer, and two-bit storyteller. And that’s just off the top of my head.

Occasionally I think such variety might be a good thing – something for everybody, and all that – but more often I sense that it could be a challenge for any particular reader to follow on a long-term basis. Conventional wisdom regarding web development says your readers should know exactly what they’re going to get when clicking to your page … which sounds like a good strategy, if only I had some idea of what was going to come out of my head when I sit down to type.

Through it all, the overriding motivation for me to keep this site rolling has been the rewards I get from doing so. I truly enjoy the writing process, and I love getting feedback from readers who have benefitted from any part of it in some small way. And of course, with increasing frequency, I’ve been the beneficiary of partnerships with some great outdoor gear companies who have been generous supporters of Running and Rambling.

I’m extremely thankful to all of them, and I’m especially grateful for all the readers who have come along for the ride (and in some cases, contributed to the cause). And since this is Thanksgiving week and the holiday season is upon us, I’m expressing my thanks by sharing my good fortune with as many other people as possible over the next few weeks. Best of all, I’ve recruited several of those aforementioned companies to help me out.

Starting Monday, November 29th, and continuing through the end of the year, nearly every post around here is going to feature some sort of giveaway. And without revealing too many details yet, I can say that some of the prizes are going to be big. As in La Sportiva big (very big). Soft Star big. New Balance big. VivoBarefoot big. Check that – VivoBarefoot is stepping up HUGE, the details of which will be announced next Monday. There will be some others as well, mostly involving products that I’ve used and loved over the past year. Think of it as the Running and Rambling equivalent of Oprah’s Favorite Things, only with about 0.0005% of the budget.

Once we get rolling, it might become difficult (both for the reader and the author) to keep track of which contests are ending when, so you’ll want to check back often – or better yet, just subscribe to Running and Rambling so you have announcements and updates as soon as they’re posted. There may be more than one post per day, or posts on weekends or at odd hours – I’m not really sure exactly how it’s going to look yet. But that shouldn’t surprise you.

The only thing that’s certain is how extremely indebted I am to all of the companies for helping me spread some holiday cheer, and how much I appreciate all of the people who’ve been following this blog, whether for the past few weeks or the past few years. It’s been a great ride for me, and I’m looking forward to sharing that goodwill by all the means, all the ways, and in all the places I can.

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Anonymous,  11/24/10, 8:49 AM  

Keep at it - it being everything - so we all can ready about Walter Mitty's latest adventure. I enjoy the writing, the variety and the themes.

Phil Hamilton,  11/24/10, 10:47 AM  

Donald: It's your refusal (or inability or whatever) to be locked into any one profile that makes your blog so compulsively readable. If this were just an ultrarunning blog, or just a triathlon blog it wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Keep it up.

John Nguyen 11/24/10, 1:33 PM  

I do enjoy your blogs, even though I usually don't participate in your giveaways. And its always good to see you at some of our local ultras. Keep up the nice blog work!

craig 11/24/10, 2:39 PM  

I appreciate the variety represented here. That indicates to me that you are a wellrounded individual.

The fact that I can't always predict what I'll find here is a reason to return rather than a liability. While every post may not match my interests you have a way of coming back to topics that speak to me on a regular basis.

shel 11/25/10, 3:24 AM  

awesome! happy thanksgiving buddy!

seb@ pedometer watches 11/25/10, 8:01 PM  

I enjoy reading your blog, I've been a bit behind lately. I agree with John Wesley's sentiments. Can you imagine what a great place the planet would be if everyone did that? Back to my run tomorrow, we've had -18C or 0F with windchill near Vancouver this week. I'm ashamed to say I didn't feel like braving the elements.

Pedometer Watches

The Trail Jogger 11/26/10, 7:34 AM  

I am a fairly new reader to your blog and enjoying it greatly. Keep it up!

Duncan and Joan 11/26/10, 12:17 PM  

Wesley's words continue to inspire and to remind us of the empowering nature of "thanksgiving". Thanks for that. Really enjoy your blog! Duncan.

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