While No Guilt Life is helping inspire me to write more, today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is one of those bizarre ones: Inspiring others to run. My blog probably isn’t inspiring very many people to run, but I do have a few friends who have told me that I inspire them. I love that my running inspires other people, but that’s not something I aim for really, not even with this rather self-indulgent blog.
What is awesome to me though, is that it is my slow running and being happy about it that inspires the most people. It’s the “if I can do it, anyone can” kind of inspiration. This has been relayed to me in a number of ways, some of them probably meant to be mildly insulting, but hey the joke is on those people because they’re the ones running a half marathon just to prove they are better than me!
There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. – Oscar Wilde
If I had a single competitive cell in my body, I’m sure these people would make me a better runner. We’d feed off each other. Their comments on my (lack of) speed would light a fire under my feet. Instead I smile and go on doing my thing. They usually find someone else to compete with in the end because these people throw themselves into running, taking it on as part of their identity in some cases, and excel at it. I, on the other hand, danced over two finish lines this year holding booze.
But there are also people who don’t mean it as an insult–who see the fact I went from couch to half marathon to Dopey, traveling the world to run races and having fun doing it, as inspiration to get them moving. I’ve done this through endometriosis, cysts, evil lady parts, intestines that hate me, nerve entrapment, and a whole host of bad juju, which a few people has said in itself has inspired them to keep running. Whether these people saying I inspired them means them signing up for a 5k or a half marathon or just hitting a local trail more often, it’s nice to hear that these people were inspired by me to get moving.
Artboy has told me a ton of times that I inspire him to run, as he watched me go from not being able to do a 20 minute mile to running a marathon. I yell at him sometimes when we run together because he likes to run circles around me smiling and making quasi-motivational comments that are actually deflating, but he still says he’s proud of me.
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. – (oft misquoted) Oscar Wilde
In 2011, I started running just to run the strip at night. It didn’t occur to me to train until I joined Team Challenge. It all turned into one amazing experience that just keeps getting better. I hadn’t yet discovered runDisney and I certainly hadn’t discovered the culture of running while drinking fine wine and champagne in France (and beer too) that is my new obsession.
Since that first race, a number of people have offered inspiration and encouragement in various ways, from telling me to not stress about being swept at a Disney race (that was a real concern for me before my first thanks to Facebook groups) to running every race in a costume that rivals those made by my friend who costumes Broadway. The crazy guy dressed like an elf of some sort in Medoc inspired me to run that race every single year (although I can’t do 2016 so this has to start in 2017) until I retire, even if that is the only race I run. Those people didn’t mean to inspire me, but they were just awesome amazing people doing what they love.
So while I don’t set out to inspire people to run, I almost always have a kind word, a smile, or a thumbs up to other runners. I learned that from the runners who inspired me, and I hope that I pass that on to someone else. And perhaps, a little accidental inspiration is the best kind.
Oscar Wilde said, “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.” And sometimes , during those early morning races, I do resemble that observation. So forgive me if I it takes me a few miles to wipe that grimace off my face. Around mile 10, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.
Hey, nice job people!!!!
I do hope that I inspire people to enjoy their life, no matter what that means. And to be true to themselves at all times. Don’t make a bucket list (especially if you’re like 22 because you shouldn’t be planning on dying anytime soon), just decide what makes you happy and go out and do it. Now.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.<- Not Oscar Wilde
Be yourself. Love yourself. And have fun!!!!
Now if only I can inspire myself to get off the couch where I’ve been slothing about since my return from France where I was saddened to see the new (for me) glass around Oscar Wilde’s grave.
Yes; I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. — Oscar Wilde (I bet you guessed that)