I am “one of those people.” One of those people who posts their workouts on Daily Mile, and therefore, on Facebook and Twitter. I have seen comments on people’s Facebook feeds that state they get annoyed at seeing people post their workouts, or at blog posts that describe each turning point in a person’s last race.
To those out there who feel that way: I am so sorry that you don’t understand how it feels to be good to your body. How it feels to go beyond the point that you ever thought you could go, and then go just a little bit further. How it feels to lose the weight of a small child, and fit into your old clothes again. How it feels when you stop being terrible to yourself, and start living an active lifestyle that opens up your world to new things you never knew you would ever want to do.
I wish everyone could know how these things feel; and if I inspire even one person to get off their ass and get out there and be active, then annoying another is totally worth it to me. If you don’t want to see posts like mine, then don’t read them.
In the past couple of weeks, I have had 3 or 4 people tell me that I inspire them to get up and workout. ME?? Wow! I really never thought that just my new way of life would actually inspire someone else to head down the same path as me. I expected the “good for you” and the “keep up the good work” comments, but never actually realized the impact that doing what I am doing can have on other people! How amazing is it to know that I actually inspire people to be active! (It makes me want to keep going, as well!)
I started running because I attended a 5K, and saw how cool it was. I couldn’t run that day, because I had a commitment to do a job at the race. I did however, decide, after seeing my colleague get a medal for second in her age division, that I was going to start running and sign up for a race. She inspired me to do something I never had an interest in doing previously.
In fact, I used to despise running!! You know those shirts and stickers that say “My Sport is Your Sport’s Punishment”?? Yeah….running sucked!
In high school, we of course, had to run the mile. I even ran track in 8th grade! I was a sprinter. Ask me to run 4 laps around the track as a warm up? Ha! Not going to happen. I would whine when my dance team coach in high school made us run laps around the gym before practice!
In college, when I was on Purdue Dance team, we ran for 20 minutes after practice, which was very hard to get used to. I did get used to it, though, and continued to run for no more than 20-30 minutes at a time for exercise even after I was no longer on the team. In my mind, I knew I was capable of running. I also knew it was very good for you!
After college, however, I fell into the trap of an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. Eating whatever, drinking whenever, and smoking while I drank. I even started smoking when I wasn’t drinking. On the way to and from work (damn pharmacist, way to set a fabulous example there!) It eventually got to the point where I was miserable. I was not only depressed, but I was turning to substances (food, alcohol, tobacco, etc) to forget about my troubles.
A lot happened, and I won’t go into crazy detail, in the spring of 2010. My life changed, and I took a turn for the better life. It was a rough ride, an emotional roller coaster, and I really couldn’t imagine life getting any better. I had amazing support, though, that helped me get through every day, one day at a time. One day at a time was not in my vocabulary at first, but it got easier with time.
Someone who inspired me and carried me emotionally through this trial and test and rough road out of the deep end of my life was my Mom. She was there for me every day. Anytime. I called her all of the time. I cried to her on the phone saying I couldn’t do it anymore. She said I could. I never knew how much she believed in me! (I knew she believed in me, obviously, she is my mother; but never knew the depth of it I guess, until I was at my rock bottom.)
It’s like the hand of God reached into the hole and plucked me out of it, and sent me on the road to happy destiny. I still don’t understand why I am so blessed to have turned my life around, but I am sure grateful for it!!
One thing I have always admired about my Mom is her willpower. She is one of those people that does what she says she’s going to do. If she wants to eat healthy, she does. If she wants to walk a certain number of miles this week, she does!
So my Mom and I have become more like best friends and Mother/Daughter throughout my journey. I am grateful for her, and for our amazing relationship we have now .
This one’s just for fun Mom. I’m oh so glad I can share the meaning of this sticker with you
Since I started running, I have met so many amazing people! Many of the people I’ve met have inspired me. My friend Owen coached me when I first started running. He has been a huge part of my success in my first few races. Here we are at my first 10k on Thanksgiving 2011!
Owen is a a triathlete. He’s done 70.3. Damn!
This girl has been a running inspiration since the first day I met her! We met at an AZ Blogger’s Network dinner at Le Grande Orange last year. When I told the group that I was training for my first half marathon, I remember Ari saying “You’re going to love it!!”
Later that week, she Tweeted a bunch of us to ask if anyone wanted to do a long run with her that Friday. I told her I had 8 miles on my schedule, and that I couldn’t do 10, but I’d try to hang as long as I could. So we met, and ran, and she pushed me to a new PDR (personal distance record) of 9 miles that day!!
Since then, we have signed up to raise money for Chances for Children and run the ING New York City Marathon together! We have become great friends, and she still continues to inspire me with her drive, determination, and “dammit I’m going to finish 15 miles no matter what!” attitude. I may not have finished my 15 on Saturday, but we ‘made those hills our bitch’ at South Mountain!
Ari and I at the start of the 2012 AFC Half Marathon in SD
Largely, because of Ari, her positive attitude, and her belief that we can do this, I will be finishing my first full marathon in November. I believe I can do it. It’s going to be hard, but I have a lot of support, and an amazing coach behind me the whole way!
Speaking of coaches, I have one, and she is amazing! Talk about an inspiration! Susan Loken started running at the age of 35, after the birth of her last child. She has since improved her marathon time from sub-four to sub-three, been 1st Master’s runner in four Master’s Championship Twin Cities Marathons, and run in 3 Olympic Trials Marathons! (those are just some highlights.)
I met Susan through Team Chances and kind of through a mutual friend, as well. She has been such a blessing throughout this entire marathon training process. I can turn to her with any questions or concerns I have, and she’s always ready with an answer or suggestion to help! She has been there for us through our hard long runs, and intense track workouts, and even before, during, and after a very challenging half marathon training race. (I’m talking about AFC of course!) Her journey through life and running has inspired me to keep trying, and to believe in myself more than I ever have before.
Check out Susan’s blog to see her whole story, and fill up on positive energy and inspiration!
There are obviously more people in my life that have inspired me over the years. These are the people who have touched my life most recently.
Who inspires you??