A few weeks ago I wrote a post announcing that I had been chosen as a Greatist Ambassador. According to Greatist, their ambassadors are people “who make healthier choices and inspire others to do the same”.
I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when I got the e-mail telling me I had been chosen – me, inspire others??! I’m just a girl who decided to go for a run (and then another, and another…) and write about it! There was suddenly a lot of pressure…how can I inspire others??
And then I looked at the people closest to me…
When I was signing up for a half marathon at Disneyland I asked my family to come for the trip since we had never been there. My mom and sister not only agree to come to California, but they surprised me by telling me they decided to run the 5k while we were there!
Almost a year after I ran my first race my mom, sister and I crossed the finish line of their first race together. My sister had such a good time she’s working towards running a half marathon with me in January!
And just this past weekend my dad (bad knees and all!) showed up with brand new running sneakers and announced he was planning on joining us for the next one – he even went on his first run already!
I thought about one of my best friends, Alex, who I’ve known since 1st grade. I’ve always thought of Alex as my “running friend”, she always seemed to be out running and I never understood, I thought she was crazy! The one thing she hadn’t done was run a full marathon.
After I went from “running hater” to marathoner in less than 8 months she decided to train for her own 26.2 miles and sent me an e-mail (that I’ll keep forever!) that said this:
I wanted to say how proud I am of you for going out and accomplishing your goals. You have given me courage to go out and train for this run and I am thankful to you for it.
I loved being able to talk with her about marathon training and share tips and information from having gone through it. I even suggested some yoga poses when she was dealing with hamstring issues and was shocked when she told me they worked so well she started going to yoga once a week!
Alex was supposed to run the New York City Marathon this year, which of course wasn’t to be. She did however find and run a full marathon in Pennsylvania the next weekend. I was honored and touched when I was one of her first calls after she finished, I was so proud of her and excited to have shared the experience!
I thought of the day that a former co-worker called me out of the blue to tell me she just got back from a run around Central Park because she saw my Facebook update that I had just finished a run and it reminded her that she really should get out there! She actually thanked me!
I think I figured out how to inspire others…
Keep doing what I’m doing. Keep working towards being the person that I want to be, making the healthy choices I’m making and sharing them with others. Apparently it’s contagious!