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February 5, 2013

Living and Giving with Reckless Abandon

By Allison Kooser

Opportunity International supporter Deyl Kearin knows a little something about adventure. Last October, Deyl set out to run 250 kilometers across the Sahara Desert to raise money for Opportunity’s clients working their way out of poverty around the world. As part of the Sahara Race, Deyl braved the heat of the desert for six days in honor of people facing even greater challenges. “Being involved with Opportunity for the last decade has helped me realize that as extreme as my circumstances will be during the race, impoverished families in sub-Saharan Africa face far more oppressive circumstances every single day. I have tremendous respect for the endurance and tenacity of the micro-entrepreneurs that Opportunity serves,” Deyl shared before he began the race.

Deyl Kearin Racing The Sahara

Reflecting on his experience, Deyl knew that people thought he was crazy. He was tackling something dangerous; a true adventure. Yet he did it anyway because he believed he could and he understood the importance of the cause. His words and actions can serve as an inspiration to all of us: “Fear is a good motivator, and I think it’s healthy to do things that scare the daylights out of you. So I took on one of the most challenging multi-day ultramarathons on earth. I’m haunted by something Mark Twain said: ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.’ I didn’t want to be thinking at age 52, ‘I shoulda went for it!’”

His message inspires me to consider my own adventure. What will I be disappointed about not doing? What can I do to make a difference?

Deyl succeeded. He completed the race, finishing in 29th place with a time of 39 hours and 22 minutes (well under his 50 hour goal). He raised over $40,000 for Opportunity International’s clients. He lived his adventure. After completing the race, Deyl reflected on his blog and shared a lesson that reaches far more broadly than the Sahara. He wrote, “What is profound is that this whole experience made me re-learn how to live, give and love. I’m pretty sure these things are to be done with more passion, risk, exertion, and reckless abandon.”

You can hear more about Deyl’s incredible journey on Thursday, February 7 at 2:30 CST. Join the webcast by registering here.