Crazy or not, millions of people like you and me lace up running shoes every day and hit the streets. Running is a great way to get fit. Running is a brilliant way to meet other like minded people trying to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Running is pretty much a solo sport, however. We can try to learn from others, listen and take advice from the pros, but it’s really just me, myself and I out there putting one foot in front of the other.
You can make a difference though, a real impact on your community at large through your running. No matter what your skill level, we all can do it. Just by being out there. On the road, or on the trails. In the park, or on the high school track. Taking part in that local or national race. Be an advocate for our sport. Get others to run. You don’t have to be real vocal about it, you can let your running shoes do the talking.
When you race, cheer on those that look like first timers. Thank the folks on the sidelines that are watching. Those people may be aspiring runners that just need a little motivation. Just you being out there may influence that person to lace up and run one day. Have you ever thought about all of those people who not necessarily are there watching your race or your run, but are just strolling by doing their own thing? That business person walking to lunch, or that Mom pushing the baby stroller? The girl working an aid station on the course because she needs community service hours? The school bus driver that passes, or the postal worker delivering your mail when you are out running in your neighborhood? All folks that are silently being influenced by your running.
I believe that it is all of our responsibilities to inspire fitness in others. To live and breathe a happy, healthy lifestyle. You may not want to join a running club, or be social at all with your running, but it truly can be a great way to motivate others to do the same thing.
We all aren’t out there necessarily to win, but we must all inspire. Do it in the way that you most feel comfortable. You don’t have to get up on stage and preach about it, or write about it, or even vocalize it. Just a simple smile may just do the trick out there on your next run.