When I started running back in August 2009, I knew I wanted to track my progress, which I do with RunKeeper. When I go back and look at the stats, it amazes me to think that in the last 9 months that I’ve almost run over 300 miles.
If you were to tell me in June of last year that I was going to run a 10 mile race in April, I probably would have laughed in your face. But I did it. Prior to this recent journey, the most that I had run was probably in elementary school when we did the President’s Physical Fitness Awards.
So, what made this transformation happen for me? How did I go from someone who’s idea of running was to running to catch the bus to someone who runs long distances for fun? I’d love to say that it was all in the shoes or that I just woke up one morning with the hunger but that wouldn’t be true.
The thing that made the most difference in my running journey was the community. When I started running, RunKeeper added the feature to have your runs posted to Twitter. I thought, “why not” and didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into. By being open about my journey, I allowed myself to connect with all of my friends who were runners or who knew that they should be running but were putting it off.
Before I knew it, I had assembled this community of people around me that were there to cheer me on as I worked through the process. One of our execs would give me crap when he saw that I wasn’t running before work. (Thanks Joel!) I’d swap tips and tricks with friends at church. I even got notes from other friends who’d been struggling with fitness saying that me being public about my journey was an encouragement for them.
Friends, who’ve been part of this community, I can’t thank you enough. Your voices are the ones that I hear at 6am, when I’d rather be sleeping but know that I should be out there running. Together, you’ve helped me get to a place that I’d never thought possible. Thank you! Thank you!
One thing that I’ve noticed is that when you run a lot, everyone asks “what race are you training for?” It’s funny. Races are amazing. Running with 10,000 people is this jolt of energy, like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes, I feel like training for a race is like when you go on a diet for 3 months and then binge eat when you’re all done.
No, I’m not training for a specific 10k, 10 miler, or a marathon. I’m training for life. God has given me so many amazing blessings and opportunities to serve him that I want to be there for every minute of it. I want you all to be there with me.
And… I want you all to be there running with me. The Web has done this amazing thing and has allowed us to connect with each other in amazing ways. It’s been exciting to look at the new and interesting ways that we can be transparent about what’s going on so that we can more effectively connect with each other and connect with each other about things that we wouldn’t normally connect over. I love it when I post on Twitter or Facebook about some random interest that I have and end up finding that a friend has the same interest or talent that I do.
So what are you running towards? How can we help each other? Where can I be an encouragement?