My goal has always been to introduce other people to running. They might accomplish something they never thought they could.
Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner and former world record holder
This quote really caught my eye. I receive the weekly Runners's World quotes on my email. They used to be daily, which was wonderful. I would read them every morning when I woke up before my run. Now they are weekly and I save them for the mornings before my long runs. However, I usually end up forgetting so just read last week's yesterday.
This quote rings very true for me. I ran cross country in 8th grade. I really have no idea why. Maybe because my friends were doing it, or because my brother ran. As I get older I tend to find I do/did a lot of things because my brothers did. Most of them have been good decisions :-) But I hated cross country. I did it in 9th grade too, and I think my coach could tell how much I didn't like it. He certainly wasn't upset when I didn't join the team the next year. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I began to run again. I have no idea what inspired me (besides the annual family running of the Peachtree Road Race of course) but this time I enjoyed it. In 2008 I completed my first half marathon, and last spring I completed my first full. It still amazes me sometimes.
Anyways, I am willing to bet there is no one out there who wasn't introduced to running by someone else. Maybe it wasn't a family member or a friend, maybe it was a stranger whose blog you read, or whose constant tweets about ice baths and foam rollers pop up, or roll across your news feed. Maybe one day you were driving or walking and someone ran by you with all the ease in the world and inspired you to give it a try too.
Days like today I drive home from work with a billion things on my mind. I knew I needed to run but had to write lesson plans, create assessments, make power points. Then I saw a man running down the road, so peaceful yet so focused and determined. It made me want to get that run in! So I sat down and focused on getting my work done so I could run. The sun was setting outside the window, but I didn't let that stop me. I set out for a short run, ending as the sun disappeared from the sky.
So thank you to the man running down the street today who convinced me that even with everything going on in my day I could still enjoy a run. Thanks to all who have inspired me, and all who inspired them. The next time you go running, who knows who you will inspire.
Here are my inspirations below after the Peachtree Road Race: Uncle, mom, grandfather, grandmother, aunt and dad...(sometime in the 80s. Dad still has all his shirts so I'm sure he can give an exact date.)