Sharing soles & nourishing souls

Posted on June 8, 2011


Last weekend I spent a fantastic afternoon with Muna and a great team of volunteers from The Seeds of Change group who go about doing random acts of kindness within Dubai. A fabulous concept, a fabulous group and Muna is nothing short of fabulous all-round.

As I mentioned in my post that followed that I love random acts of kindness and try to do some act, most days. I guess then it’s fairly inevitable that I would dream up a way to combine my love for random acts and that for running!

Here’s my thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running the Marina circuit. It was early … perhaps 5am and there in the distance was another runner … yet this one wasn’t an adidas-clad expat enjoying a pre-brekkie cruise around the marina. Rather, he was a labourer, dressed in standard uniform and running in enormous clumps for shoes; heavy, inflexible and far too big for him. The sight tore at my heart because we all should be able to run … it’s surely a basic right, instinctive from long before our earliest memories and this poor man clearly soldiered on, despite the lack of suitable gear to make it a remotely enjoyable experience.

And then this morning I noticed that I have not one, not three, not even five but TWELVE pairs of perfectly good trainers on my balcony right now. Some I don’t wear because they’re a few months old, others because they don’t bear those special three stripes that make me ALL IN.

And then it struck like gold; the perfect solution … I set-up a chapter here of one of the global charity initiatives that collect and redistribute used and unwanted training shoes to those in need. It’s a great way to recycle used shoes, it gives people today the hope for a better tomorrow … and it lets workers like the man I saw, have the freedom to run with ease and in comfort.

Quite how it will work I don’t yet know. Nor when I will find the time to get it up and running (sorry – couldn’t resist!) But in the meantime, I figure it’s great training to go out running with a backpack full of shoes and pay a visit to some of the smaller projects around Tecom or Dubai Marina.

If anyone has any ideas or would like to work on this with me, please drop me an email … … I would love to hear from you.

I’m excited already because the thought of sharing my soles nourishes my soul … and because it takes just one pair at a time to make great steps and in turn, to change the journey through life for countless people.


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