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November 18, 2011

Will Talks from the Treadmill: 48 Hours of Walking & 3 Days to Raise $7,000: I AM. {Kickstarter}

Watch live at DontLetWillDie.com

Will Baxter, Co-founder of I AM, makers of the world’s most socially conscious yoga products, takes fundraising to the extreme.

It’s 10:10 PM November 17, 2011.

I’ve been walking on a treadmill now for 12 hours. My hips are sore, my legs are weak, but my mind & confidence are still strong. To be honest, I try not to think about how long this could go, because mentally that’d just be too much to take.

I’m taking it one step at a time.

So, how the hell did I find myself here? The reality is—the decision to walk on a treadmill for up to four days was only made one week ago. While sitting in our office, which has been the hub of our Kickstarter campaign for the last five weeks, and reflecting upon a quote hanging on the wall by Will Smith—this crazy idea came to conception.

“I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. Period.” ~ Will Smith

This quote, for me, represents determined belief in a vision or an idea: the confidence that comes with knowing you can make anything happen because you’re prepared to do anything. Often I get asked the question: what are you going to do if you don’t get there? The reality of this campaign is—there’s no option of not getting there.

I’m not coming up with plan B, I’m doing what’s necessary to make plan A happen.

And if that means getting on a treadmill indefinitely…well, here I AM.

When I left Guatemala, I made a promise to the women who weave our fabrics, that I would do everything in my power to make this idea a reality. The women & most of the people there have gone through pain and suffering that is unthinkable to most of us.

Ten years ago they came out of a civil war where the Mayan population pretty much became a target of state sponsored violence. But when you look into their eyes, it hasn’t defeated them. They’re still present and they’re still alive. They work so hard but just have so few opportunities.

What motivates me is my belief in the potential of this idea. It’s not just the immediately earnable income—that will put food on the table and send kids to school—it’s showing that people really do care.

One of our weavers told me “no one sees us, it’s like we’re ignored.” The core of the I AM. model is recognizing that we’re all the same, and we need to start acting like it.

Learn more about I AM. Check out our Kickstarter page. Empower Maya mothers and help me get off this thing!

With determination,

Will

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