Monday, October 19, 2015

Your Perspiration is my Inspiration

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I remember a time not so long ago where the most inspirational athletes (in my opinion) were Olympic athletes, Ironman World Championship athletes, etc. You know, those people that overcome HUGE odds to perform on the world's stage. Those were typically the only non-professional athletes we heard about. And while those athletes are still pretty darn inspirational, through the wonders of social media, YouTube and the like, everyday people like you and me have a platform to inspire others. Not an hour goes by without an inspirational quote, picture or story coming across my various feeds. Regular people with jobs, kids, illnesses and horrific circumstances are doing extraordinary things. I see it in the people I coach, I see as I pass a runner or cyclist on my way to work, I see it everywhere. We are all inspiring in our own way.

Before I continue, this week I'm linking up with the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up. The Tuesdays on the Run blog link up is with My No-Guilt LifeMCM Mama Runs and Marcia's Healthy Slice. When you're done reading here, be sure to check them out!

What makes someone inspiring? Excelling at your chosen sport is inspiring. But you don't have to be the best to be inspiring. In fact, I think the people that plug away every day knowing they will never win their age group, never qualify for Boston, never achieve a single high honor our sport could bestow upon them are just as inspiring as those who do achieve those things. Trust me, I am inspired by the people that work their asses off to qualify for Boston, win their age group or other achievement. I coach several of them. But I am equally inspired by the people that work their asses off for no glory whatsoever. The average Joe or Joanne that is plugging away because perhaps their kids are watching and learning by their example. The cancer patient that deals with his or her illness by running even just a quarter of a mile because it makes them feel human, alive and in control of their own life. Truly inspiring.

For me, I think humility is inspiring, especially when it comes from the elite athletes. The Meb Keflezighis, the Kara Gouchers, the Deena Kastors, they are the ones that inspire me the most because they're humble and they struggle just like you and me. They know they have amazing talent but they also know it's a privilege and not a right to win a race. Winning isn't always a given. Humility is important in a sport like running. Running can be really intimidating for some. It's hard and it's not always rewarding. The people that embrace that and admit that not every day is an epic day are inspiring to me. Why? Because we can relate to that. That elite athlete and us mere mortals are the same in that way. I have bad days too. But knowing there are others out there that also have not-epic-days and still lace up and try again inspires me to do the same.

What or who inspires you the most? What makes someone inspiring?

16 comments:

  1. When it comes to running, I think I am most inspired about seeing how much hard work it takes to train, to reach your goals. It isn't easy and takes so much dedication. I think when you're balancing running with everything else it inspires me more to see people do as well as they do.

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    1. I agree! Knowing how hard someone is working, in addition to all their hard work in their life (job, kids, etc) and they kick ass is hugely inspiring!!

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  2. I am inspired by people who dream big, take risks and prioritize their lives in a way that enables them to go after their dreams. Easier said than done many times. THanks so much for linking up!

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    1. Definitely easier said than done. I think it's awesome when someone takes risks and doesn't let doubt and fear get in their way!

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  3. I'm inspired by some of the race participants I see along the course. For example, in DC I've run the Army Ten Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon 10K, and in each case there have been runners who have lost limbs, military men and women in full gear and carrying 50-lb backpacks during the race, kids who compete at a higher level than other runners 3 times their age, and people almost twice my age (believe me, that's old) who simply persevere. When my training is tough or overwhelming, I often think about these people whom I've never met, and it inspires me to do better. And my coach inspires me not just because of her passion for what she does, but because she can snap me out of an attitude that could be holding me back by giving advice or words of wisdom, which keeps everything in perspective.

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    1. In all the races I've run, I've never been more inspired by participants and spectators alike than at Marine Corps Marathon. Especially when I ran it last year. So inspiring. And your coach sounds really amazing ;)

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  4. People tell me that I am inspiring. I guess I would fit in the "average Jane" categories. I'm a back of the pack person and do it because it's fun. I like to say if I can run a marathon anyone can!

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    1. No matter what your reason, running a marathon is totally inspirational!! Thanks for reading!

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  5. I am def your average Jane. I love to run, and I am inspired all the time by runners and their stories! You are right about humility being inspiring! Those who are gracious with the wins and losses remind me we are all on this running journey together!

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    1. Exactly! Running isn't easy and it's "nice" to see that even elite athletes struggle. Makes me feel like we're all in the same boat together!

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  6. This blog is amazing! I love that you mentioned the 5kers and how even though they were new to the course, they did awesome! Props to you for recognizes the newbie runners and giving them a shout out <3 I love seeing that!!!!

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    1. Thank you! We all have to start somewhere and short-distance runners deserve the same kudos that long-distance runners!! We're all runners, regardless of how fast, slow, long or short!

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  7. Hey there, glad to find your blog though the "hop." :)
    I can't imagine running 50K (!!) but trail running sounds so fun. I wish we had more trails in coastal AL.
    Congrats on what sounds like a very successful race! I'm sure it's so rewarding to be a coach. Love those sunrise pictures, too!

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    1. Thanks! Trail running is the best! As an adult, we have few things that take us back to feelings we had in childhood. I feel like running through the woods on on a dirt path is one of those feelings from childhood I get to experience over and over!

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  8. I have never heard of trail runs before! I just started actively running. Before I use to avoid it all the time, but have really tried to grow a liking to it over the past month. How do you find these trail runs, or just any runs you pick for your runners or even yourself to do!?

    Also what a beautiful sunset! One of the reasons I am hoping to start morning runs!

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    1. Hi Caroline! You can find local races through online calendars for your area. Also, websites like Active.com have race calendars that are searchable for your area. You can also ask your local running stores for races and trails in your area. Have fun exploring!

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