“No runs in a vacuum. There is always someone watching you leave the house, dig it out, come back, and do it all over again. You are being watched by a roommate, a brother, a spouse. The driver of every passing car. You are being watched by future generations. My grandmother ran in college! someone might say of you one day. My great uncle took it up in his 30s and ran marathons into his 60s! We are inexorably entwined within each other’s influence. You may run by yourself, but no matter how early you start, no matter how remote your location, you never run alone”–Mark Parent.*
What he doesn’t say, but implies, is that you are a leader, simply by being a runner. Someone, be it your roommate or the dog-walker you blow by on the bike path, is watching you sweat and hurt, and grow strong. Not all, but some will say “I want to do that too” and will lead healthier, happier lives because of it.
But don’t stop at running, because not all can run. Do you work hard? Do you help others? Do you chase your dreams with courage and ambition? Someone is watching. My aunt opened her own business when she was my age, someone might say, so why can’t I? My friend published a book, so I can too. My Dad worked hard and provided for us, and I want to be like him. “We are inexorably entwined in each other’s influence”.
I hope this encourages you like it did for me. It’s only January 3, but some of you may have broken your New Years resolutions. Pick yourself up and try again tomorrow. You just might inspire someone to do the same.
Also, a big thanks to those who’ve encouraged me lately by telling me how much they enjoyed my book, or that my posts have been an inspiration to them. You add spring to my step!
* “A Mile in His Shoes,” Runners World, February 2010.