26.2 Miles of Gratitude

by Steve Dobbins, Founder and CEO

Seventeen days ago, I completed my first full marathon — 26.2 miles through the twists and turns and ups and downs of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate and back, through the rolling hills of Golden Gate Park, the iconic Haight Ashbury and more. It was extraordinary, exhilarating and, at times, grueling. It also afforded me ample opportunity — four hours and 18 minutes, to be exact — to reflect. 

As I ran through the streets of San Francisco, I took a look back at the people, places and events that led to this moment — to my running a distance I’d once thought inconceivable, but also to the life I’m so fortunate to have. 

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I get to live in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, married to an amazing man (we just celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary) and surrounded by extraordinary family and friends. I get to work each day doing something I absolutely love — running a boutique marketing agency with an eclectic and inspiring roster of clients worldwide, all doing great things, and a team of passionate, creative marketers who help make the magic happen. 

 I’m so grateful for the path that led me here. Like the SF marathon, it’s been full of twists and turns, unexpected hills to climb, inspiration from unexpected places, and cheerleaders whenever I need them most. 

I’m especially thankful for revolucion, the fitness apparel company my husband Jason and I co-founded with a mission to create a better world through our purchases. Every piece of revolucion included a giveback to a nonprofit helping children around the world; most were eco-friendly to better care for our planet; and everything we did was designed to help people become their best selves — through physical activity and participating in the for-good economy. 

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 Earlier this summer, we made the difficult decision to close the company, but I’m even grateful for that — our three years spreading revolucion’s #LoveInAction mantra touched so many lives and continues to live on in everything we do. 

Which leads me back to the marathon. Throughout my 18 weeks of training and more than 400 miles logged, and through every step of the race, the destination was crystal clear — crossing the finish line and proving to myself that anything is possible. 

Somewhere during the race, I had a moment of clarity. I’ve been so fortunate every step of my career, and I’m so lucky to be able to get paid for work I love. How can I pay it forward? How can we instill revolucion’s #LoveInAction mission into the Dobbins Group? The answer came around mile 22. 

Later this year, the Dobbins Group will launch a “For Good Marketing” arm with a focus on supporting businesses in the non-profit and social-good sectors. We want to help them better tell their stories, grow their reach and scale their impact. 

Additionally, we’ll be activating the Dobbins Group social giveback program, where 10% of our fees will be donated to one of several select non-profits. 

In Africa, there’s a philosophy known as Ubuntu, which roughly translates to “I am because we are” and speaks to humanity’s inter-connectedness. I’m thrilled to bring this concept to the Dobbins Group. I owe this extraordinary life to those who have lifted me up throughout my journey, and I can’t wait to pass the love forward through our work with clients worldwide.  

Together, we will do great things! 

(And, yes, I’m already plotting my second marathon. How could I not?)