Today, I watched Shalane win the NYC Marathon after 40 years of a non-USA female winner. Three years ago, I screamed in excitement at our TV as Meb won the Boston Marathon. Inspiration isn’t just about who wins the race; it’s more about who tries, who gives their all, and who demonstrates in a way that inspires others.
Twenty plus years ago, my mother started running. She ditched her decades long smoking habit and hit the 5K and 10K routes. She inspired both Scott and me to start. And from there, we’ve gone distances we never even dreamed of.
Before moving from MA in 2016, one of my inspirations was a local girl who got out there (what seemed like) every day and made running look easy. I never knew her name and she never knew she had an impact on me, but there were many times I got out for a run because of her.
Just this past July, Scott ran his first 100 miler at VT100. It wasn’t his finish time that was as impressive as was his attitude. Yes, finishing in 24:37 was indeed impressive. More inspirational? I never saw him without a smile on his face. A few weeks ago, friend Susanne ran her first 100 miler and many times referred to Scott’s “happy running” and that was how she wanted to run her race.
This morning, I jumped aboard a “run to breakfast” group run with my running club friends. With a point to point 11 mile route and an out and back option, there was something for everyone – with a breakfast reward at the end! I chose the out and back option and got to run with several, catching up, cursing the mud, and talking up the breakfast we were all working towards. This group is comprised of individuals with individual goals, but together, we inspire each other.
Regardless of distance or pace, we are all inspiring someone. I am grateful for all of the inspirations in my life (running and non-running alike!) and challenge myself to be the best I can be – someone might just be looking at me as their inspiration.