Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The good news

Since I started writing this blog a few months ago, I've received a lot of support and some questions, most notably: what exactly is the point? I have no intention to sell anything on it, and it doesn't endorse anyone or anything. I have a more-than-full-time job, and no one pays me to write, so why am I doing this? The simple answer is, of course, pure narcissism. But there is actually more to it than that.

Like a person with religion, I very much feel the need to spread the good news of running. I don't try to "convert" people to it, and try not to push back too hard when I hear things like "I've just never been able to run." Everyone has their right fit, and needs to find their own path to it. But I believe that running has lessons to teach everyone, whether they actually run or not. I have hard days when life is throwing up one obstacle after another to getting it done. I insist on finding a way to knock it out. I have physical challenges, including bad knees (requiring surgery when I was a teen), and scoliosis. I've learned to be gentle on myself, which remarkably has made me a faster and stronger runner than in the days when I pushed. I get way, way too inside my own head somedays. So I take myself outside.

I'm happy to say that I have played a part in a few "conversions" through the years. I can't say that any of these folks wouldn't have started running without my influence - surely, they would have - but I love that I've been able to play a part in supporting them as they got started, began racing, and eventually started to identify as runners.

Alicia, after her first half-marathon, which we ran together. (And good friend Becky, herself a dedicated runner!)

Ian, who braves crazy weather and juggles a difficult schedule to get in his runs. My hero!

Krista, after her first half-marathon, which we ran together. She likes to say that she hates running, but she just keeps signing up for more, so I know she's lying.
Yooli, who recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of her first marathon! Here we are at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2003. We rocked it. (Special shout-out to Sarah, the ultimate marathon support crew member.)

They have seen the light!

So what is the point? For me, the point is helping a struggling new runner feel part of a community that supports them on the tough days, and celebrates their successes. The point is helping a seasoned runner who's hit a roadblock, faced an injury, or just can't get their butt off the couch that day to reconnect with the pure joy of running. The point is reaching people who don't run and perhaps providing some motivation to undertake whatever kind of challenge would be meaningful to them. More than anything, it's to help me further understand myself - and to be understood by those around me.

8 comments:

  1. It was hard not to convert with such a motivating role model!! Great timing, as my 2nd half is this weekend. Thanks for all your love, support, and inspiring blogs! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be cheering from afar! GO GET IT!!

      Delete
  2. I'm not lying. I do hate it. I just keep signing up because I cave to peer pressure. Just so you know, I came home from my 4th half on Sunday (almost two years to the day after my first half) and signed up for bikram. I think I'm taking a running break. Well, at least until I get conned into another race....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which you will, because you LOVE it.

      (By the way, I would like to go on record as saying that I am IN NO WAY implicated in Krista's being conned and/or pressured into running. That is the realm of other people in Krista's life - and, might I suggest, her own psyche? It is true, however, that I threatened to jump on her back and make her carry me during the above-mentioned half-marathon if she slowed down. I will own that.)

      Delete
  3. I think this is a great post again. I do it to keep myself motivated and keep track of what I do/how far I've come. I like to look back to the timings on other posts and see that I got a PR on a current run.

    I love finding new people with similiar interests and that maybe someday, I meet them for a run. i like that i know people because of my blog.

    And it's a little narcism. Oh well. What are you going to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely - there are so many good reasons that running blogs abound! I don't use my old training/logging blog the way that I used to, but now you have me thinking about firing that back up. It was really helpful to hold myself accountable that way. Thanks for the motivation!

      Delete
  4. You are the best coach/running supporter ever!!! (and your support and advice are a huge reason that I am running my first marathon this spring!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, with this blog as evidence, I never get tired of talking about running. Always happy to coach and/or support however I can. It's so much fun to be a witness (even from afar) to your training. Can't wait for you to "guest blog" about the experience! =)

      Delete