Since I have run 2 half-marathons in the fall, I have found friends who have been inspired by my story and are lacing up their running shoes. One friend just finished up week 9 of C25K and is getting ready to run her first 5K. She is very excited about running in races, she is trying to talk me into running races with her! Apparently I am starting to rub off on people.
For those of you not familiar with C25K, you can look it up at www.c25k.com. This man went from an overweight smoker to a lean non-smoker and ran his first marathon in 10 months. Amazing! Although it's not the program I started my running with, I have heard lots of good things from novice runners who found it easy to gradually get their bodies moving.
Because of this, a co-worker said she wanted to try out running and was looking for some suggestions on how to get started. Naturally, I referred her to C25K. She had her first training run tonight and although she was tired, she finished it. I told her that each run would get easier and that there was a half-marathon in her future for sure. I told her that since the days were getting longer, maybe we could run together after work. She felt such a sense of accomplishment that she called me at home to share her excitement. She said, "Jenn, you're inspiring me".
I've heard that before and that kind of praise makes me a little uncomfortable. I suppose however, that this is what I am trying to accomplish with this blog. To inspire others the way I was inspired to lace up my running shoes. To inspire others who are unhappy with their bodies, their fitness level and unhealthy nutrition habits to make a change. So what does it mean to inspire?
Thank God for the online dictionary! No need to grab that heavy book any longer! Anyway, it gives similar definitions of "to affect, guide, or arouse"; "to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion"; "to stimulate to action, motivate" or "to affect or touch". So I took these definitions and thought about it. Am I affecting or guiding? Am I filling with emotion? Am I motivating?
Well, maybe I am affecting? I guess my daily mile posts and facebook posts while they seem numerous and hopefully not conceited, it is obviously having an affect on some people. Maybe it is spurring them to action to see what they can do or to get fit. That if I can run (and remember, I was a person that HATED running) anyone can run!
Maybe I'm stimulating to action? Obviously something stimulated them to lace up their shoes. But I would argue that it wasn't me stimulating/inspiring them. They inspired themselves. To start to believe in themselves that they could accomplish anything. That change may not happen overnight, but change is possible. Something inspired them to take that first step and something will inspire them for their next run.
Am I filling with enlivening or exalting emotion? Maybe. But what about the two friends I mentioned above? The one that is sending me race information, wanting to run a half-marathon with me and looking towards a long-term goal. My friend that called me tonight after she her first C25k run and was on such an endorphin-high that she wanted to share the emotions she was feeling with somone who would understand. Enlivening or exalting emotion? No, I'm not doing that. That's all you.
We are inspiring ourselves and each other. I can't wait to see how far the two of you go...
Stay fit and healthy!