Over the last couple years my perspective on life has changed some. I think I have always been a good person that would help out if someone I know needed something, but now I feel like I have a responsibility to not ignore opportunities to make other people lives better. I am far from being good at following through on this, but it is my desire and I am constantly looking for ways that I can play a positive part in somebody’s life.
That is one of the main things I have enjoyed about running over the last year or so. My life is pretty much an open book. I don’t hide things from people and when I am excited about something I want everyone else to be excited about it. So when I started running I guess I started talking about it. Eventually I started losing weight at a pretty good rate and people started paying attention to what I was saying. Let me be clear and say that I am not a weight loss expert and everyone’s journey is going to look different. My journey though involved burning lots of calories, mainly through running, and eating less calories than I had before. This was enough for my body to start shedding excess weight. I am not done and I will probably battle this issue to some degree my whole life, but I know how to lose weight.
As my body started looking significantly different people started actually coming up to me and asking questions. They would ask for advice and I would give them a little advice and a lot of encouragement. This has fueled me to keep at it more than an new record for a pace or distance ever could.
The feeling that I may actually be making a difference for other people is actually more exciting to me than the fact that I have lost 50 pounds.
Run Richmond is part of that formula. This site gives me the ability to reach out to more people, but more important than that it gives each of you the opportunity to reach other people. Run Richmond isn’t about me, it’s about a community of people in Richmond that want to support each other. If you start supporting and encouraging other people in their journey to be healthy it will have an affect on your journey. Teachers will most likely tell you that the easiest way to have a student master a new skill is to have them teach it. This is no different. If you want to have a healthier life start the process. Encourage other people to join you and support them in the process. I can guarantee you that it will be a lot harder to slip back into old habits with other people looking up to you for motivation.
Fitbit has nailed this mentality with their step challenges. How many people have walked around their house while watching TV just to get those last few steps you need. Would you have done that if you didn’t have other people looking at your steps each day? As you know Run Richmond is completely free so I get no benefit from how many people look at the website or how many people show up at group runs. So when I tell you I want you to invite people to get involved with Run Richmond it isn’t for personal reasons. I want you to find people in the middle of a journey to get healthy and invite them to come. Start talking to them about your journey. Let them know what you have done that worked and more importantly what you have done that didn’t work.
If you get them to join you on your journey they will benefit from you and you will benefit from them. This last Saturday I was scheduled to run 15 miles for my marathon training. I assumed that I would finish the distance, but that after a while it would likely be a run/walk. When I got to the Group Run David Turpin told me he was scheduled for 18, but his knee was sore so he was going to do 10. That was fine with me, because it meant I had someone to run with for 10 and then I would finish on my own. David didn’t stop at 10. We started this “journey” together and he wanted to make sure I finished it. David ended up running the 15 miles with me. He pushed himself farther than he planned and came close to his original goal. My involvement spurred him on.
The other part of that is that I have never ran over 13.1 miles before. Those last couple miles were pretty miserable and I guarantee you that I would have walked up a couple of those hills. But David just kept on and I stayed right with him. We never walked and we finished the 15 miles together at a pace under what I had set for me goal (it was by seconds, but that still counts). Invite people along on your journey whatever that may be. It will be good for them and it will be good for you.