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On paying it forward.

Posted Jul 03 2012 9:28am

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote my weekly runspiration post about the encounter I had with a guy on my running route. It was a moment that humbled me as a runner, and I’ll never forget the chills I got thinking about how far I’ve come and how much work it has taken for me to get to this point.

This point is still not what I would consider to be my best(You can see my Before & After <– (so far) pictures here.)

By “best”, I mean I have so much more to look forward to as a runner. I have pace increases, more distance races, and other big things for which I hope. I was running on the treadmill a few days ago, something that is actually hard for me to do now that I’ve conditioned my outdoor running legs, and I was gazing off at the purple walls of my gym visualizing my success. I pictured the huge crowd I’m expecting to get lost in when I get to Chicago. I visualized my legs – strong, capable, and full of excitement to finish their first half. I thought about the sounds of the bands performing on the sidelines and how I’m hoping they’ll be a great distraction if it turned out that I needed to lose myself in something other than my thoughts. I thought about the race day excitement…the energy…the pure pride of even just making it to the starting line in the first place.

nike believe in the run, nike photos

I was visualizing my success…the finish line…and I was overcome with pride. This was something I could see myself doing, and about 3 years ago, it would have simply been a pipe dream. I would have huffed and laughed and said, “yeah, right!” I slowed down, reached for my water bottle for a quick swig, and heard the girl next to me ask…

“Can I ask you a quick question? Could you please tell me how you breathe so easily when you run? I can’t do this.”

My first thought was, Did someone set me up this week or something?

Seriously. Twice in less than a week I heard the word “easy” come out of someone’s mouth in regards to how I make running look. Again, if you only knew how hard I’ve had to work to get here.

So, I slowed my speed down, sipped some water, and talked with her for a good ten minutes about running – my thoughts on how to breathe, my tips for using the C25K app, getting great running shoes fitted just for her feet, and for ditching the headphones. I told her that she needed to believe in herself…that she needed to ditch the “I can’t do this” mentality and go for it. To take her time, start out slow, and just believe.

She asked me how much I had lost from running, about racing, and asked why it was so much easier to lift weights than to run.

“Running is mental. It’s very mental. Picture your finish line…whether it’s your first 3-minute run or your first half marathon, just visualize it.”

After she thanked me profusely for stopping to talk to her and wished me luck on my race, my first thought was…

I’m meant to be a run coach.

It felt amazing to lift someone’s spirits…to give her the boost and the advice that I was given when I first started. I wish I had the guts to ask the it-comes-easy-to-me runner next to me for help. She took a great first step in asking, and from her gratitude and the smile on her face, I think I helped…and it has inspired me to better myself as a runner and to start working my way to becoming a run coach.

If I could help inspire others to start trying and stop fearing and doubting, then I’ll be a happy woman. I know what running has done for me, I’ve read what it has done for so many others, and I want to pass that along to others. So, I’m in the process of researching opportunities to help others in their running journeys, and I just wanted to share that with you all.

I also wanted to announce that yesterday I received an email letting me know that I’ve been accepted as a new SWEAT PINK ambassador!!

Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador Badge
This is actually quite fitting, because I ran my first 5K in pink…and the color reminds me of how far I’ve come. (And the FitFluential badge is pink as well. Imagine that.) I am so excited to be a part of not only one truly awesome group of ambassadors, but now two! I can’t wait to see where my life is headed.

Are you a run coach? If so, do you work with an organization or do you work on your own?

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