Every day during our Indiegogo campaign we’re shining a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring David Graves, KT Tape Athlete, Nike Runner of the Week, and active member of the Further Faster Forever community. Here’s what he had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
I would have to say being named Nike Runner of the week on Facebook and Twitter last October was a nice surprise. I logged 1,034 miles in 2012 and have averaged 120 miles per month for the last seven months.
How did you achieve it?
One day at a time. I used to be overwhelmed looking at the overall goal but as I began to focus on what needed to be done today to accomplish the bigger goal, it became easier. Hank Johnson, one of my mentors, always says, “A long term goal without a daily plan is just an idea!”
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I’ve been blessed to place shoes on the feet of orphans in Kenya. I have traveled all across our great country. Those who make the greatest impact are the ones who seek to walk with someone else despite race, creed, color, or religion. Take away the names or the zip codes and everyone longs to be loved, to feel valued, and to be a part of a bigger picture. I want to be part of the solution.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Running is my primary exercise outlet. I typically log 25 miles a week between road, trail, treadmill, and pool. I also cross train with yoga, weights, spin, and swimming.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I asked this same question to Ryan Hall in Chicago at the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in 2009. His response, “Never chase a Kenyan!” He went on to tell me that we are all created uniquely beautiful and the journey that I am destined for is the one I must run. No one can run a mile for me.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
As a part of www.furtherfasterforever.com, a group of athletes all over the world who seek to motivate and encourage one another on our journey, there are times when some of us are injured or recovering. It is a reminder that there are those who can’t run, some who don’t have the capability to run, or those who don’t know the joy of running. I love using Charity Miles because even on the toughest run days whether physical or mental, I can take a sense of accomplishment knowing that the effort I put in on the road helps the charity that is dear to me.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
I most often run for Feeding America. I remember a time in our family of six when our two cousins needed to come and live with us for a while. My father was the only income and times were very difficult that year. We went on welfare. My twin brother and I had reduced and free lunch cards at school. Back then, all the generic groceries were on one aisle in either clear bags or black and white cans. That is where we bought most of the groceries. We even had government cheese and peanut butter. I was thankful that we had a garden too. There are children who didn’t eat tonight. When they left school today, they won’t eat until they return tomorrow. This is unacceptable to me. If my sweat, trudging hills, or running can help to end that then I am honored to do so.
Special thanks to Charity Miles, Nike Running, KT Tape, and Further Faster Forever for all the support and encouragement along the journey.