I have always been in awe of and inspired by elite runners. I am particularly impressed by women like Kara Goucher, who compete at this top level and are able to balance out their running career with their family life. I will never compete with this group of women, but I aspire to be like them in the choices they make to stay fit and be healthy and happy in running and in life. Today I realized that without knowing it, I have also been inspiring others with the choices I've made. Jeffrey M. makes deliveries to our house on a weekly basis and we have worked with him for about 5 years. We don't know each other well, but if I’m home when he delivers, he always tells me how impressed he is with running routine. If I’m out on the road, he always honks and waves if he drives by in his truck. And for each time I have run the Boston Marathon, there has been a card from him in the mail wishing me the best of luck. Today he saw me as I was heading out to my car and asked me to hold up. With a huge grin on his face, he said “I just need to tell you something…I finally quite smoking.” He went on to say that he’d been trying to do it for years and that lately he had been inspired by others, especially the runners he sees when he's out working, to make this change in his life. He let me know that, despite being a smoker for over 20 years, he decided to go cold turkey and it was BRUTAL. Throughout the process, he said, he would always think of people like myself who are out there each week, and he continued to remind himself that if we runners could commit, then so could he. As he was leaving he said, “I know this conversation might seem a little strange, but I just had to tell you this because I wanted you to know what an inspiration you are for me". I was totally floored. How great it was to hear that my love for running can inspire someone else and my pace has nothing to do with it. As he was walking back to his truck he said, “ running is next for me, I know I have it in me.” I smiled and told him what a bad ass he is. Tomorrow, I'm sure he'll be inspiring someone else. Hopefully, I will, too.
Listen to this:
Comeback Kid - Sleigh Bells