Monday, September 6, 2010

New Runners Offer New Inspiration

This past weekend my 4th beginners group of the year completed their first 5K. It was a glorious morning at the Kentlands/Lakelands 5K and my runners really had a great time. The smiles as they crossed the finish line were just dazzling.

As I mentioned, this was my 4th group of the year. Each year I have the pleasure of coaching groups and individuals, helping them reach goals and heights they never thought possible. While I love coaching people of all abilities, I have a special fondness for coaching beginners.

I'm sure I've written about this a million times already, but working with beginning runners is such a privilege for me. I feel really honored that someone has chosen me to help them start a new chapter in their lives. Quite frankly, I feel honored that all of my clients have chosen to work with me. But beginners are generally terrified of running and they are completely intimidated by the sport. They feel that they aren't real runners, will never be a real runner, and need more in the way of encouragement, motivation and support than more established runners.

The group that just finished this past Saturday had a pretty hard summer for training. It was the hottest summer on record in DC and even the people that like running in hot and humid weather had to wave their white flag in surrender. But these runners were determined. They did as many runs as they could, they stuck to it when most people would just skip it. I have never been more inspired by a group than I was with this one. And the main reason is really because of that determination. I, for one, hate running in the heat. Give me cold any day. But this group showed me, and all runners, that it can still be done and goals can still be reached, regardless of the things standing in the way. A beginner (and even a few veterans) usually finds any reason to not do something. No matter how big or small the reason, most beginners usually give in and skip their workout. Not this group. Not the heat, summer vacations, children, jobs, nothing stood in the way.

If they can do, anyone can. So, the next time you're wondering if you should bother getting your run in, think about all those beginners that never let anything get in their way. Let them inspire you and fill you with renewed motivation and excitement for the sport we dearly love.

Happy running!