There are some mornings, afternoons, evenings…okay, days, where I’m just not having it. Exercise isn’t appealing to me, and I think about how I’d much rather read a graphic novel or maybe finally just watch the last episode of the second season of This American Life or go hang out with my friends than go for a run.
Since I subscribe to the theory that doing something is better than doing nothing, I try really hard to at least force myself to do ten minutes of something physical, even if it is just walking up and down the stairs in my building. Often though, even on days when I think I’d rather three-hole-punch my forearm than go for a run, I manage to get myself out of the apartment in my running shoes. And one reason is other people (like you!).
In the past few weeks, a couple people have mentioned that they feel motivated because of me. A new co-worker said she’d been thinking about my desire to do a half Iron-Man, and that she was contemplating starting to run because of it. And a customer at the coffee shop (who honestly, inspires me to run faster) mentioned that he ran farther than he normally does because of a conversation he and I had about distance.
The moments and mentions in which other people discuss their running or “training” are usually few and far between, and quite small on the grand scheme of things. But honestly, novice runners are why I keep going. I remember what my life was like pre-running; what it was like to only be able to run for mere minutes and before I had the wind socked out of me. Or what it was like to be able to swim for twenty minutes before having to get out of the pool or risk drowning. And I don’t know why, but remembering what it felt like to feel like a 5k was impossible (let alone a triathlon) makes me want other people who desire to run to find happiness in it. And when people express even considering finding some sort of life-affirming property in any kind of fitness, I am more motivated to do the same.
I guess I just want to say “Thank You!” to everyone who ever talks fitness with me, who shares their stuggles and triumphs, and who isn’t always sure they’re ready but is trying anyway. This isn’t a competition; it’s just a way of experiencing the world, and I’m really glad you all might enjoy it even a little bit, and like yourself more because of it.