I ran a race Saturday. I was planning on volunteering, but at the last minute my mom and her friend (who put the event together) talked me into running instead. It was just a 5k, and I've been running a lot lately, but all summer I've savored the solace of the air conditioning, logging miles on the treadmill as opposed to pounding the pavement.
Truth be told, I just wanted to finish. But as soon as the race started I realized my fitnemesis* was hot on my tracks. With her marine husband. I don't know what it was, but something in me decided that girl was not going to pass me.
I ran my butt off. I picked a boy and followed him. Not creepy, stalker followed, but I kept up with him. My official time was 21:47 and I was the 1st female to cross the finish line.
Maybe I'm bragging. Ok, I'm bragging just a little. But there are 2 things I really want to say.
1. As I rounded the last turn I could see my mom at the finish line. Jumping up and down, screaming my name. Motivation.
2. Of course she was proud of me, but as I stood there after finishing, I watched her continue to jump and cheer for every woman who takes her boot camp class at the gym. Inspiration.
These women all have different, remarkable stories (the young woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the single mother of two who lost her husband in a car accident, the 70 year old whose grandchildren can't keep up with her.) They are an inspiration. But they are inspired, too, by my mom's encouragement, her determination, her competitive drive... she has opened herself up to them and they are motivated to run faster, to be stronger, and to go harder because of her.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is be inspired, but be an inspiration. Your story, your life, your relationships... the way you react when someone cuts you off in traffic, the way you aren't afraid to be the butt of your own jokes. The way you live you life, how you train, how you work, how you talk to your children when you're angry...
We have opportunities to inspire the people around us, whether we realize it or not. It's really pretty crazy if you think about it.
Be an inspiration.
*Fitness Nemesis. The person you try to squat lower than in boot camp, kick higher than in kickboxing, outlast on the treadmill... "Oh your dumbbells weigh 10 pounds? Pass me the 12s."