Extra Mile America

Shawn Anderson Shares Inspiration Behind Extra Mile Day

550 Mayors to Make 2015 Declaration


Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/08/2015 --On November 1, 2015, over 550 mayors and city leaders will declare Extra Mile Day and give breath to one man's passion to celebrate the power of the "go the extra mile" message. In 2009, motivational author and speaker Shawn Anderson created Extra Mile Day with the hope that "society's real heroes could be clapped for." In the inaugural year, 23 mayors joined the campaign and recognized local organizations and individuals who were making a difference in volunteerism and service.

"2009 was a bad year. People were losing their jobs and homes, businesses were closing, and people were looking at the government and shouting, 'What are you going to do to fix this mess?'" Anderson recalls. "I decided to use my voice and remind others that the power to create positive change did not have to rest with a government program, a boss or a spouse, but rather ourselves…and our own willingness to do more and be more."

Acting on his passion, Anderson created the Extra Mile America Tour, and as a symbol of going the extra mile, pedaled a bike solo 4,000 miles, ocean-to-ocean. Along the way he held events in 21 cities where he interviewed over 200 people who had been pre-identified as having gone the extra mile in either overcoming tragedy or in accomplishing something inspirational. Extra Mile Day emerged as a part of that 2009 cross-country tour.

"The idea for Extra Mile Day was evolving in the back of my mind before the tour began," remembers Anderson, a 47-year-old non-bicyclist at the time. "But while pedaling east on Highway 80 across Nevada on a particularly long stretch of miles without a rest-stop, my commitment to the idea became resolute. No shade, no rest, and 110 degree temperature set fire to the vision," chuckles Anderson. "Grinding it out along that stretch of highway reinforced that if you're going to commit to a goal, commit all the way."

"The 'go the extra mile' message gives people an option to just throwing their arms in the air and saying 'I give up' when life gets tough or things don't go their way. Going the extra mile is about choosing to quit complaining about all that is wrong in our lives, and instead, taking action and initiating the change we desire." Anderson shares. "Extra Mile Day is a reminder of the power we each have to make change happen when we choose to do more, give more, and go the extra mile."