I really did not know I was going to do it.

A 30-mile hike on the Mahican-Mohawk Trail in northwestern Massachusetts. In one day. On a Saturday in October. 

This year.

I don’t think it has sunk in yet, what this will demand of me, but yes, I have signed up to take the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Trailblaze Challenge. It’s a commitment that will require training and time, two words that have tested me endlessly throughout my life. Then there is the individual goal to raise $2,500 for this organization that plays fairy godmother to children between the ages of 2 1/2 to 18 who have life-threatening medical conditions.

Make-A-Wish has a hefty goal: To go out and find every possible eligible child and grant him or her their greatest wish. The Connecticut chapter of the organization is looking to grant 250 wishes this year. As of yesterday morning, I volunteered to help.

I committed to supporting this cause after barely five minutes into the introductory remarks of the information session at the Bent of the River nature center in Southbury, Connecticut. It was probably the anecdote about the little girl whose wish was to be a published author that nailed it for me, but I could be wrong…

Today, in the light of a new day, the question did come. What in the world am I doing?

I am not a joiner. I am not a salesperson, and I hate asking people for money.

I don’t have any children of my own, but I can say that I have always felt a special love for kids. How many times have I visited a friend or relative who had small children and found myself being taken by the hand to help them color, or play Barbies, or let them affix a full package of assorted hair clips to my head so they could practice their hairdresser routine?

Yeah, I’m a sucker for kids, so maybe that’s my reason. Add to that the fact of illness, and the opportunity to do something nice for a child becomes a compelling motivator for “getting my hiking on,” as our Trailblaze Coordinator Sierra would say.

Naturally, as a writer, this means that my insane compulsion to capture the stories of this experience kicked in. I’ve relaunched my Walking Distance blog and heck, maybe I’ll toss in a podcast or two along the way so you can listen to the voices behind this cool journey. I’m excited to find my way to help this worthy cause, and I’m hoping that my network of friends, family, colleagues, and beyond, will support me in this effort.

My personalized fundraising web page will be live online soon. I’ll let you know when it’s ready for you to get on board. There’s no pressure, but I hope you’ll consider it.trailblaze bandana
Meantime, kick around that giant question for yourself, because it’s an interesting one to ponder: If you could have one wish in the entire world, what would it be?

Now, imagine if you had a fairy godmother just waiting to make it come true. That’s where we all come in, in this opportunity. We get to bring the Magic.