My morning once lunches were packed and coffee was made I finally turned on my phone to check emails that came in overnight. Suddenly a message popped into the inbox from the volunteer coordinator for The Biggest Loser 5k. This inaugural event is being held this coming weekend in Myrtle Beach and I cannot wait for Saturday to get here. I shall a "pacer" for celebrity runner, which I am told is more of a "handler" than anything. I assume I will be responsible for helping people cross the finish line. Finishing and not finishing time is the goal. But more importantly it is an opportunity of connect with other runners who may be in their first 5k, or running 3.1 miles for the first time ever. This is a great chance to share why I love running and how my commitment to an active lifestyle has truly changed my life.
Inspiration is funny thing. Some people do it for family. Some people do it for health. Some people do it to help prod some family member or friend into better health. The short answer is that I run for me. I have another post written about the reasons why I run. But I am always looking for something more.
"Born To Run" was a big motivator for me. There is much discussion about the "reality" of the narrative. In spite of how true the book may be, the story pumped me up in a way that few things ever have. And the third reading was as riveting as the first.
Ultrarunner Scott Jurek, also featured in "Born To Run", is an inspiration on the high-powered end of the spectrum. He runs far and fast. He was nearly unbeatable for several years. He is vegan and focuses on clean eating. After finishing a race he is known to spend hours at a finish line cheering on other runners. I love the idea that no matter how good Jurek is, no matter how large his legend has grown, he still has the compassion to support "lesser humans".
Another source of inspiration are people who recognize they are unhealthy, overweight, on the entrance ramp to a slow death. But when this person admits the problem and makes positive, lasting change then I applaud the effort. My family watches "The Biggest Loser" and enjoy sees the progress all the contestants make. I had to find my own "aha" moment, when I saw what mistakes I was making. I had to realize how poorly I felt. Discovering how good I can feel when I do things the right way was amazing.
I am also inspired by my mom. She has struggled so much with her health through the years. But she is doing better now and is giving a great effort. This presents her with opportunities to enjoy life as an active grandmother, spending time with my daughters, not content to merely be a spectator.
Lastly, I am inspired by the recognition I receive for my progress. I have had my own ups and downs. Yet this time am nearly two years into my "new" life. Every time someone says "good job" or "you look great" it tells me that people are taking notice and following my efforts. Somebody may be waiting for me to fail. Somebody may be hoping to learn some secret. Somebody may look at me and appreciate the fact that I decided to make a change and plan everyday so I may succeed.
If you say "Its sounds like everyone inspires you" that is not entirely true. While I applaud efforts great and small, the fast equally with the slow, the thick along side the thin, I cannot stomach people who give in to their fate. In rare cases is a physical condition permanent. Many things are reversible. Effort cannot be short-circuited. So I say don't give up. Don't accept fate. Change the changeable. My hope is that on Saturday I find opportunity to inspire and to be inspired by a mass of humanity moving as one, toward a healthy future.