Some runners enter a race because they have a shot at winning. Have you ever watched one of Usain Bolt’s races? If you have, you’ll notice his confidence – at every point in the race, he is pretty sure he will win so his focus is on winning.
At the 2013 ING NYC marathon, there were 50,266 person who finished the run. 99% of those runners kept going for 26.2 miles even though they knew they had no chance of winning. But they were there because they had overcome challenges of some kind, they loved the way they felt when they ran, they wanted to raise money for a charity or one of a myriad of other reasons. And although those reasons are motivation enough to get you to the starting line, somewhere during the event, when exhaustion sets in and the finish line seems an impossible way off, sometimes a runner needs an extra boost. That’s where YOU come in.
People can inspire other people to do great things. If you’re not the person doing the great thing, then be the person who inspires. Sometimes, that inspiration is a great thing.
In September 2012, I ran the Bronx 10 mile race. It was a hot day. Actually, it was a scorching, lingering summer heat kind of day. I hadn’t dressed appropriately for the hot temperatures and we were running on the Grand Concourse, all pavement, no shade. By mile 8, I was feeling the burn, literally and figuratively. I just wanted to stop, and walk towards shade, wherever it was. At that point, I had been doing the run/walk shuffle for the past mile and I just felt like I couldn’t go any further. I kept asking myself, “Why am I doing this?” I knew the race itself was over, the winners had already received their medals and at that point, I was running to finish. I felt like I could just stop and it wouldn’t make a difference.
And just as I was about to stop running, just before I called it quits, a woman on the sidelines looked at me and me and said, “Don’t stop now. You’re almost there. Just keep running!“
When you run events, you hear that constantly. “You’re almost there.” You could be running the NYC marathon and just getting out of the starting corral in Staten Island with 26 of the 26.2 miles of running still ahead of you, and someone will say “You’re almost there.”
But no matter how many times it’s said, there’s that one time it means everything to you. That day on the Grand Concourse, in the Bronx, those words meant something to me. “You’re almost there.”
I don’t remember much about the race but I remember that when I looked at the woman on the sidelines, she was looking right at me, and talking to me, and cheering me on and it was enough to motivate me. So I just kept running. She said “you’re almost there” and soon enough, I WAS there.
Some people do things. Some people inspire others to do things.
Be one of those people. Whether you do, or whether you inspire, we all have a job to do.
Have a great day and RUNWRIGHT.
Remember, the #MODRUN streak continues today.