“I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb.” 
– Robert Downey, Jr.

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the early response to Hero Story.

I’m getting support left and right – and folks like you reading this right now have been overwhelmingly positive about my new direction.

I can’t thank you enough and it’s all incredibly humbling.

Please keep letting me know what you enjoy and don’t hesitate to pass along stories you think I should be covering.

Let’s get to this week’s heroes.

Philanthropic Running

GoodGym: The Running Group That Combines Exercise With Helping The Community

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I’m a runner.

I’ve used running to build my confidence and foster a feeling of accomplishment and achievement. I’ve ran 6 half marathons and one full marathon since 2014.

The “runner’s high” is a real thing and one that can only be felt by actually running.

However, I’ve found that when giving and being generous, I get the same feeling of excitement.

It’s a feeling of satisfaction and the knowledge you did something for someone else. You made their day better.

So, when I came across the story of GoodGym, I knew I had to share it with all of you. As GoodNet explains:

“[GoodGym is] a community of runners who use their favorite way to stay fit and combine it with activities that benefit their neighborhoods and allow them to meet new people. GoodGym members take a break between runs to pay visits to the elderly and help them with chores they can no longer do on their own.”

How did this come about you ask?

“GoodGym arose when the founding member grew frustrated with the lack of community engagement in their gyms and the strong desire to help people, while also furthering their own self-development. The aim was to create a group of fit and motivated individuals who wanted to run as much as they wanted to contribute to social wellbeing, more specifically, helping the elderly feel less lonely.”

Frankly, I never thought of combining my training runs with anything but a nice shower and time chilling out in front of the TV. To think of how many folks I could’ve helped during my 15-18 mile marathon training runs!

Kidding aside, this is a pure act of giving. Many of us (myself included) consider exercise our “me time.” We use it as a chance to put ourselves first, which is OK in moderation.

After all, I do believe there are times you have to take care of yourself before you can really be of service to others. Kind of like when you’re on an airplane – you need to put on the oxygen mask first before you help someone else.

But, these folks are thinking of others FIRST. That is truly a rare quality these days.

Imagine being one of the elderly folks seeing a group of GoodGym runners meeting up at your home. They come in and help you with stuff. You have time to talk with them and share stories.

That must bring them such immense joy.

What are some things you can do to serve others as part of your hobbies or exercise routine?

Like to knit? Why not knit an extra scarf for someone else and give it to a person in need?

Enjoy baseball, football or another team sport? Why not start a pick-up game once a month for underprivileged kids?

Like to cook? Why not cook a special meal for someone who just had a baby?

There are tons of ways to give without expecting anything in return. As I write this, I know I need to actually do what I preach here.

Hmm … maybe there’s something we can all do together. Some kind of Hero Story group philanthropic endeavor.

Why not send me an email and tell me your thoughts! Let’s figure out a way to be heroes for others – together!

Make sure to check out

Hero Habit

Making connections. 

I enjoy getting to know people. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I enjoy putting this newsletter together. Make it point to reach out to folks on social media or join a local club to expand your network. You’ll thank me later.

Actually, let me suggest a great Facebook group I just joined. It’s run by fellow entrepreneur, Chad Varner. Check it out and soak in the inspiration.

Hero Effect

Hal Elrod’s Achieve Your Goals podcast. 

You absolutely must check out this episode with Lucia Giovannini about How To Make Meaningful Changes In Your Life. It’s worth the listen.

Hero Roundup

Driver rescues 40 kids from a burning school bus, SC fire department says

“A car ran into the bus from behind, Darlington County Schools spokeswoman Audrey Childers told WBTW. The bus driver, Bernadine Reed, saved 40 elementary school students, district superintendent Tim Newman said Wednesday, The State reported.”

Lyft Donated $10,000 On NYE to Help MADD Prevent DUIs

“This is the fourth annual year Lyft has donated $10,000 to MADD the past NYE’s in their partnership to help end drunk driving. With autonomous driving and ride share services, that reality may come true within a decade. John Zimmer, Lyft’s CEO is at the wheel, he’s been leading the charge for his 7th year driving on New Years Eve with a special co-pilot – His Mom – but began bringing awareness to the organization in 2014 by allowing Lyft users to donate $1 to MADD for posting an anti drunk driving pledge on their social media…”

This Chick-fil-A Opened On A Sunday For A Special Needs Customer’s 14th Birthday

” …Elijah Sprague wanted to ring in his 14th birthday at Chick-fil-A (his favorite Mobile restaurant) “by fulfilling his dream of working the drive-thru.” The teen’s uncle, Walt Gilstrap, is the general manager at the location. He and the owner made the decision to open Chick-fil-A’s doors for that special Sunday. The birthday boy certainly was busy—about 40 cars came to the drive-thru (including his friends) to receive a cookie from Elijah, his mother Rene Sprague told WKRG.”

This article first appeared on  Sign up to receive Hero Story every Friday.