Posted by: Budger | March 12, 2009

How can I help?

These are words that are said/heard everyday.  We are a caring society, and when things don’t go exactly to plan, it’s human nature to want to help.  In the world of consulting it is what we get paid to do.  We fix things.  We even have a term for “fixing” things outside of our job.  We call it going into consulting mode.  My favorite example of this is when a friend of mine, another consultant, reorganized three tables in a restaurant to fix a seating problem for two.

Late last year, one of our co-workers, one of our fixers, was severely injured in an accident.  He currently is in rehab facing a very long road.  His life has been forever changed.  My coworkers and I were all working through the same feelings.  What can we do to help?  How can we fix it?  And I know it left me and others feeling at a loss.  I want to fix it.  What can I do to help? 

It’s Texas Independence Relay time.  The Texas Independence Relay is a running relay that spans 203 miles and 40 legs.  0882_Good Morning SunshineWe have a team of 12 runners and 8 support, and we spend 31 hours traveling from Gonzales TX to San Jacinto, tracing the route of the Texas Revolutionaries and the war that was started over a cannon.  Last year was the inaugural run of the relay, and our co-worker, Mickey, was one of our runners.  This year we made him our honorary team captain, and renamed the team Mickey’s P2 Pace Makers.  

The P2 Pace Makers are a group of runners/cyclists sponsored by our company.  Some people do this for the challenge, and some people do it for the Margaritas.  Whatever the reason, whenever we get together it’s a lot of fun. 

For the relay we don’t have matching jerseys.  We never seem to get there in our planning or our budget.  But the spirit of this group of individuals far surpasses the most professional of organized athletics.  This year was no exception.  We had 7 returning runners and 5 new runners.  And they came together offering encouragement and support to each other.  At first I was concerned about how they would feel about “Running for Mickey”, and then I realized, we all just wanted to help.  So side by side, they ran the 203 miles, taking each other water, yelling words of encouragement.  We had an injury, and without a second thought another runner stepped in to pick up the leg.  31 hours of little sleep, running or riding in vans/RV’s, eating junk food and drinking coffee on some of the darkest roads of Texas all the time laughing.  We had America’s Next Top Model trying to run down a pregnant woman, blinkies that wouldn’t blink, and a rogue team tagging our van.  We had one van that was brand new, and another that squeaked on every turn, bump and shimmy.  I was laying odds that it would not hold out to the end.  3 pieces of exploding window chalk, one exploding headlamp and 203 miles later, we finished 2 hours ahead of schedule and beat last year’s time. 

As tradition dictates, we finished the TIR in the same place that it was born….over Margaritas.  And once again, the team is full for next year.  Planning has already started, and training goals are being made.  My lesson learned – let it go. 

Sometimes in life, you can’t fix the problem.  Sometimes all you can do is remind people that you’re there.  You are not forgotten.  I will run/walk/drive this road with you for as long as I can.  This weekend, I was inspired once again by my co-workers, as they ran alongside each other and for Mickey.  I’m not sure how I got so lucky to be the designated “coach” of this team.  I can’t run.  I don’t know anything about training for a run.  All I know how to do is operate a wicked Excel spreadsheet, and make it all come together.  But in the end, I am in awe of my team mates and my friends and my company for running down the road and letting me lead them in the process.  To the P2 Pace Makers and to Mickey- once again you are my heroes, and I will drive this road with you for as long as I can.

Team Photo



  1. […] agreed to present a united front.  We are a team.  As I wrote about 2 years ago in my post “How can I help?“, to my friend Mickey, you are not forgotten.  I will run/walk/drive this road with you as […]

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