Lately I have heard a lot in conversation, “I don’t know how you run that much,” or “I don’t know where you get the motivation to do something like that,” in regards to the marathon training. Honestly? Honest honest honest…I have no idea where the motivation comes from either. I don’t know how I have ran three half marathons and my mind hasn’t even began to fathom an entire marathon, but on I
While my source of motivation is questionable, I do have inspirations that often come to mind and help keep me going on lonesome long running journeys. Here they are in NO (read: NO) particular order. I bet most of these people don’t even know they have inspired me. SURPRISE!
1. My old self.
Some could say I’m ‘running away’ from who I was but instead, I embrace the changes I have made in my life and will never forget how I lived my first 17 years. I’m inspired by the fat girl who, five years ago, didn’t even know what a marathon was. The girl who thought that running was only for skinny people who didn’t acknowledge her existence in high school. At age 17, I made drastic changes, but continued to see where I could go. I began pushing the envelope and getting out of what I was used to and what was comfortable, and with this marathon, I am pushing the envelope, out of my comfort zone, farther than nice 13.1 jaunts around a race course, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually…continuing forward to see where the boundaries exist.
2. My family.
Sorry fam, but we weren’t really equipped with that natural athletic ability gene, in case you weren’t aware. My family inspires me because running isn’t something anyone in my family really does. Unless it was running to beat someone to the bathroom in the mornings. Or running to find out who didn’t empty the lent out of the catcher in the dryer. I want to give my family something to be proud of. I want to set an example to my younger siblings, that you can, indeed do anything you set your mind, heart and soul to. That your future isn’t determined by this, that or the drop of a hat, that you have the ability to decide where you want to go and what you want to do with your life. As my dad always tells me, “You can do anything you want to do and you can go wherever you want to go, don’t let anything stop you,” and I have taken him up on his advice. I only hope that my family gets half of the thrill that I do from going to races and traveling, wherever the roads may lead us.
3. Food. Yep, there, I said it. I had to break up the sappiness. Food inspires me to run. Because running 12 miles makes it much easier to justify fro-yo
Bridget and I met just over a year ago because we were both in a friend’s wedding; she was in town from Nebraska and I had heard nothing but fabulous and hilarious things of her. When we met, she was carrying her second little bun in the oven and I was a novice runner. I can’t remember exactly where down the road but we found that running was a common ground between us. The rest is history? Despite living in different states we have managed to do one training run and one race together…that’s more than I can say for most people. This woman inspires me because she is amazing and awe-inspiring. She is an Air Force wife of a husband who is currently away, mother of two little nuggets, one of the funniest people I have ever met, and still manages to fit running into her schedule. Even when things get tough, she perseveres. Her story keeps me going, and I’m also glad that I have someone who can relate to the ups and downs of being
a less than super fast runner.
Some of you may or may not know Jen. Growing up, she was the assistant to the youth pastor at my church and someone I looked up to immensely. She was always a huge role model for me from age 12 and on; she invested so much time, energy and prayers into me growing up and I’m not sure she even knows how much that still means to me today, nearly ten years later. Jen was also the first person I had ever heard of running these long races, half marathons and marathons, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have the slightest idea that races even existed! An inspiration, Jen is someone I still admire to this day and have committed to heart every encouraging word she has spoken to me. I’ll never forget the, “I’m running 16 miles, what are YOU doing today?!”
6. My future. I run for my future and what all it potentially has in store. There is so much that I want to do with running and ideally it will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. I have dreams so big that I can’t even begin to tell people, because someone who is very smart once told me, “Be careful who you tell your dreams to.” Though I may not voice them to everyone, they are there.
7. To be an influence. I want people who don’t think they can to be inspired that they CAN run and they can do all the set their minds to. I coach with a local Girls on the Run team because I love being an influence to young girls and giving them a positive self image, knowledge of a healthy lifestyle and letting them know that running is so fun. Our talents are no good if they are just wasted on ourselves; I believe that we are given our gifts, talents and abilities to give back. What good would they be otherwise?