Why I do it
“Another beer, please!”. The bar is crowded, and I feel like I am in a maze of darkness. How far can I go this time? Does life matter? I think I want to die. The maze turns into a dazzling blind spot. Everything vanishes, and I’ve got thunder in my head. My friends carry me home. Again.
“This has to stop”, a friend shouts. “We love to help, but this is going too far!”. For this I still thank her and my friends. And my friends kept supporting me. By going for a little walk with me. To just visit me. By sharing beautiful music. Because of this I slowly see the world a little bit brighter. By coincidence I rediscover running. Done this a lot as a kid. Quickly I become unstoppable. Kilometers fly by. This eases my mind and helps me to see my surroundings, my body and myself more clearly. More and more I start to see the bright side of life. I slowly cut back on the alcohol.
A few years and lots of kilometer further, of which a handful of half marathons. Two Belgians tell in Arnhem about their crazy adventure. In 590 marathons they ran from Alaska to Patagonia. This story lets me float. ‘It is possible’, I think. ‘I can do this’, I realise. What if I run in 70 marathons from Gennep to Palermo, and spread acts of joy along the route for the people that are having a hard time? This is what I want to do! I’m dancing on the ceiling when I imagine making someone happy with it. And discovers a bright spot in the darkness. I also took baby steps. I’ll send a card to someone who is having a hard time. I’ll read a poem that gives me strength. I sing my favorite song. I bring an ode to the favorite soccer player of my grandma. Nothing but bright spots across Europe. My eyes twinkle. I believe I can do it.
How I do it
I spread acts of joy. These you can submit yourself, for yourself or someone else. Everyday I run a marathon, and carry out at least one act of joy. This can be a gesture to someone who is struggling or an act that helps you through troubled times. I will also make pictures and videos of it, so you can always relive your act. I will also look for places of joy: places that breathe positivity. I will place a bag of lucky marbles at every place and acts of joy, with a short description about the place or act. I will also put them on an online map. This way everyone can find the places and acts physically and online.
What I want to achieve
My dream is that people that are going through a difficult time, begin to see more bright spots in the darkness. Step by step. And with these bright spots find back a winding path. That eventually leads to a road full of beaming sunlight, where they can look around quietly.
How you can help as an individual
Join me in my adventure! I would love to share and experience such an amazing journey with others. Help me to complete my wish list:
- Give me a place to sleep on the route.
- Donate money for food, drinks and a place to sleep on the route.
- Run alongside me across the route.
- Give a massage on the route.
- Submit an act of joy.
- Carry out an act of joy yourself and share it with others.
- Share this story in your network.
- Shoot videos to promote the project.
- Shoot videos during the adventure.
- Arrange an item on the radio to tell about the adventure.
- Arrange an item on tv to tell about the adventure.
- Write an article in the newspaper.
- Connect an organisation to this project that wants to cooperate.
- Arrange 2 pairs of running shoes in size 44.
- Arrange a running watch with build in navigation.
- Help building the website.
- Write a blog post.
How you can help as an organisation
Share this story in your network. And submit an act of joy. Or become friends with Move The Earth, and give something of the wish list, or donate money to fulfill these wishes more easily.
Who I am
I am Coen, and running makes me very happy. It gives me energy, happiness, peace, cheerfulness, creativity and a clear mind. Over the years I ran dozens of races, including lots of 5 and 10 kilometers, a few half marathons and 1 marathon. I love to help out with projects that carry out positivity, such as Loesje and Seize Your Moments. From my incredible amount of perseverance, positive mindset, detailed training, enthusiasm and fascination to explore and push my mental and psychical borders, I will run in 70 marathons from Gennep to Palermo.
When I do it
Friday morning, 31th of may 2019 I will start in Gennep. In 80 days I will run to Palermo.
Where I do it
The route starts in Gennep, my hometown. I will build a party around the start. The mayor of Gennep will give me the green light with my twin brother. On the way I run through Germany and Austria. Close to Sölden I will make the cross to Italy via Timmelsjoch. I will end my journey in Palermo, a city in the far south of Italy.
I think it will be wonderful to walk along the Rhine in Germany. And to discover nature in Austria. I’m very curious how people see positivity in the different areas. And which acts of joy arise there. I also look forward to discover and go beyond my physical and mental borders. Finally there’s lots of love about Italy inside of me: passionate operas, delicious food, incredible coffee, and a treasury full of nature and culture. That is my pipe dream, because strangely enough I’ve never been there. A lovely spot to let the adventure run through my head at the end.