Meet Suzanne. The girl did the un-doable. She got THIS GIRL to get off her toosh after a 9.5 hour work day, put her daughter into a jogging stroller, leash up her pups and go for a jog before bedtime (Don’t worry mom, it wasn’t dark yet).
How did she do it? She wrote this blogpost. You must read on. But be warned…no matter what you are doing, you will immediately start making plans to get out and move. So, you might as well start stretching.
When Stephanie asked me to be a guest blogger, I felt this huge rush of responsibility to write something so profound and inspiring. Something that makes you say “Oh that’s good” out loud to yourself. Well, I am in no way a profound writer but I am completely honored to share my story and what running has done for me.
(dim the lights, cue the music, here we go…)
I signed up for my very first race….ever….and it was a half marathon. Say what??? Yup, I was going to run 13.1 miles. Did I have any idea what I was doing? Nope. Did I even have a clue? None whatsoever. Just thinking of what I was about to embark on…looking at my training schedule…I almost had a nervous breakdown. Why was I doing this again??? Oh yeah, duh Suzanne. You told yourself you could do it. You need this challenge. You need to see how far your can push yourself. You want to have bragging rights to running 13.1 miles. You believe in yourself.
Well, I did it and I have not stopped since. They say once you run a race…just one…you will become addicted. It’s true. And it happened to me. However, running has become more than just a hobby for me, it has become a lifestyle. I run for personal reasons as well as for exercise. The road has become my best friend. It’s my therapist. It never talks back to me. It sees me at my worst. It sees me at my best. It is stable ground. I leave it all on the road….frustrations…..stress…..the let downs from the day….the disappointments. This is why I run. I want to better myself. I want to be healthy. I want to be active. I want to inspire others to do the same. This is why I run. The feeling of accomplishment….knowing I pushed myself and gave it all I had. Overcoming a challenge. Knowing I will do even better next time. This is why I run.
Having a running partner is also key. I run with people who inspire me and push me to do and be better. Isn’t that what friends are for anyways?
Little did I know that along the way I was actually the one doing the inspiring. My coworker and friend Melissa had a few words to share with her experience with me:
About 2 years ago, Suzanne ran her first ½ marathon. I think the whole office felt like we went through the adventure with her that first time and I became particularly inspired by her new found (well new found as far as we all knew) love of running.
At the time, I was still growing accustomed to the life of a mom with 2 young children (as anyone with kids knows that is not an easy life to get use to). I was searching for something that was just mine, something that would allow me to just have some solitude in the midst of my very busy life. I decided I would try to start to run. I was very jealous of the freedom she seemed to get from running, the idea of just running and losing yourself in your thoughts.
I would ask Suzanne little questions here and there without really leading on to what I was doing. In July 2011, she told me that she wants me to sign up to do a 5k with her….are you freaking kidding me? That is 3 miles, I can’t run 3 miles yet! Well, little did I know, I could and she made sure I knew I could.
Suzanne never gave up on my progress. She would run as slow as I needed her to run and she would push me when she knew she could. It has been almost a year and I still run with Suzanne when I can. I don’t have a lot of spare time but when I do I love to go run, especially when I can run with Suzanne. She never lets me give up on myself and makes me feel like I am worth the effort.
So, my friends, believe in yourself. Believe that you have what it takes – because you do. One of my favorite quotes by John Bingham, “The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.” That says it all. Making that first decision to get out there and go for a run. And not just any run, a run with a cause and a purpose. You are running to help change the course of child’s life, to help build a family. You are making a difference for yourself and for an Ethiopian child. This is an opportunity that can not be passed up.
Will you be able to go out and run 3 miles off the bat? Probably not. Will you make it one mile? Who knows. The point is that you are out there doing it. Baby steps….you will get there. Believe in yourself. Believe you can do it. Your mind will give out long before your body ever will. Push through and remind yourself…and you will have to do it often….why you run. Just.Don’t.Give.Up.
So, go grab your old sneakers, lace up and hit the pavement…it’s a good listener. And who knows, you might inspire someone to do the same.