In 1999, my family took an Outward Bound trip in Puget Sound, just outside of Seattle, Washington. The setting was majestic, and we could not wait to settle into our motorized schooner to cruise around the islands and soak up the sun and serenity. This was Outward Bound, however -- and our boat wasn't a catamaran. It was a replica of a 19th century Brig. When there was no wind, we rowed.
We rowed a lot. Around whale breeding grounds. Next to tanker ships. It was anything but glamorous, eating, sleeping and even peeing into a bucket on that boat. We came away from our Outward Bound experience a closer family, and at a key time in our lives -- two months before the unexpected and untimely death of my stepmother, Annette, whom we all loved like our own mom. I still look at photos of her in her orange sailing suit and laugh at how much she loved -- and hated -- that trip.
I eventually moved East and went to work for Outward Bound as an instructor for its urban program and saw its benefits. The Outward Bound Trust uses the outdoors to help equip marginalized young people with valuable skills for education, work and life. They become more confident, more effective and more capable at school, college and in the workplace. The Outward Bound Trust is a natural choice for my London Marathon endeavor. I ask simply you give all you can. All of the money raised goes straight to Outward Bound. https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/.