On Tuesday, July 12, Motley Fool CEO and co-founder Tom Gardner embarked on an epic journey to make good on a public bet he made (and lost) involving a treadmill desk and some good, old-fashioned grit. He's still stepping along right as we speak, too.
Here's the challenge: One man, five days, 26.2 miles each day. That's a target of 131 total miles Tom will have walked from July 12 through Saturday, July 16.
Tom's more than halfway done, but where does he stand now? When I checked in this morning, he had walked a total of 81 miles on his trusty LifeSpan treadmill desk, with 2.8 miles logged so far on Day 4.
His many miles exhausted one Fitbit battery this week (don't worry, he had a backup for tracking those miles when the battery up and conked out) and he described legs that felt like "petrified wood" for those of us who were wondering if they felt like Jell-O. Yet still he perseveres toward his goal.
Here's how we can all help cheer him on -- Tom has dedicated his megamarathon treadmill endeavor to support Washington, D.C.-based public charter school network DC Prep.
For much more on his original bet that the market would fall 10% in 2014 (he lost the bet by only a few mere points!), as well as the many reasons you can feel good about supporting Tom's efforts with a contribution to DC Prep, check out this article as well as our Fool Culture blog and the 131.fool.com campaign site.
The warm support of Motley Fool members, employees, and other friends of the Fool is definitely buoying Tom's spirits and helping spur him onward. We're so appreciative of the generosity. Here are just a few awesome comments from contributors so far, including some heartwarming moments.
Walking the talk
- Let's kick this off with some sympathy from Ralph M: "Poor Tom! At least this will bring some good from a punishing act."
- Here's an absolutely beautiful sentiment from Jeffrey W: "My grandmother, an immigrant, believed education is what you learn from the material in a classroom but especially from the experiences you have. She founded an embroidery company that failed during the Depression. But, what she learned helped the second company she founded thrive until her death. My mother, who believed that education is the most important element differentiating people, completed her undergraduate education with 176 credit-hours and five declared majors. Her career spanned six different economic sectors as well as a focus on political service in whatever city she lived. She was the only Renaissance woman I ever met. Both of them instilled in me the importance of education for every person individually so that society improves generally. So, I can hardly be more interested in the success of schools like DC Prep."
- The Oracle of Boxford (what a great name!) appreciates The Motley Fool's advice (thank you, Oracle!): "A small token of appreciation for all the hours of entertainment and knowledge from the various podcasts and articles."
- David C. has some thoughts on Tom and the state of education: "Tom Gardner is one of my heroes so his support of DC Prep is all I need to know. I also think DC Prep is a wonderful idea to change the inadequate educational opportunities in our inner cities."
- Jody H. emphasized love and kindness: "Those of us who can, have the responsibility to help bring opportunities to others in the world. This small sign of love and confidence can make the difference in a person's life so that they have the opportunity to do the same for others. Contributing is one small way we can start to change our nation into one of love and kindness and help eliminate the hate."
- This advice from John S. is something we can all use throughout life: "Good luck! Remember it's just one foot in front of the other."
- Donald K. donated "because Tom Gardner is a great human being who lives up to his promises!"
Cheering Tom to the finish
At my last check, Tom's marathoning had raised just over $17,000 toward a $25,000 base goal. Of course, we're all cheering on the idea of not only meeting but also greatly exceeding that giving target when this five-day journey is done. So your help to make that goal as Tom stalwartly trudges on would be greatly appreciated.
To lend a little perspective, a $25,000 gift to DC Prep would enable them to purchase furniture, books, computers, and a circulation system for a brand-new library at DC Prep's Anacostia Elementary Campus.
Here are all the links and information sources you need related to this endeavor: