A weird thing has happened since I ran my marathon. I’m apparently now an “inspiration” to people.
It started almost immediately after crossing the finish line. The next day, Brooke asked Christina if she could join us in Chicago and run the half marathon with us, to which we were both thrilled and excited about. Christina’s sister told her that she’s now determined to run another half, this time without intervals. Then my friend Kim started a couch to 5k program, with the goal to lose weight and run 5ks, and get in good enough shape to run a half marathon this fall. Another friend, Stephanie, got serious about continuing her weight loss journey. My coworker, another Stephanie, started towards her goal of losing weight and running a 5k before 30.
It’s weird to me. I feel like I barely know what I’m doing, so how can I be inspiring? I’ve only been running for 21 months! I’m still figuring all this out. Also, I didn’t set out to inspire people, I just had a goal and wanted to reach it. I ran a marathon for me, to prove to myself that I could do something. Also, if anyone should be an inspiration, it’s Christina, because she’s the one who lost all the weight….all I did was start running. I expected a lot of things after the marathon, and I have to say, this wasn’t one of them. Christina has found the same thing. When we first started hearing these stories of how we inspired people, we’d joke about it. But now, it feels like a big responsibility.
But alas, apparently, I’m inspiring. And it’s uncomfortable. I feel like a lot of people are not only proud of me, but watching to see what I’ll do next.
However, I AM super excited to see people I know start their own journeys to health and happiness, regardless of the reason. While I may not be comfortable of the role of being an “inspiration”, I am very comfortable with being a motivator/support system. So, I’m trying to embrace this and be as supportive as possible. For the out of town friends, this means checking in with them via text/emails and sending them things to get their journeys started. For my local buddies, it’s checking up on them more in person and showing them new things. Next week, I’m going to meet Stephanie (my non-coworker friend) at her gym to show her how to use some of the weight machines and some simple body-weight exercises. I like helping people and love seeing my friends gain confidence as they see progress. After finishing 26.2, I truly believe anyone can do ANYTHING they want if they’re willing to put in the work to make it possible. I’m really excited to help my friends see that their goals are attainable, too!
To all my friends who are starting their journey, just know that what you’re doing will inspire someone else. While you may struggle with your own goals and may have bad days, the people around you will just see you as a determined person working to get what you want. What you’re doing is awesome, and I’m so excited to watch you reach your goals and set new ones!