It doesn’t seem to matter whether you run to be inspired or to inspire…either way, you’re out there on the road participating in the addiction.  Something is driving you, pushing you, to continue to cause yourself pain for the joy of the sport.  No matter how it’s put, it really is something only runners understand.

The next time you’re out on the road, think about what runners have inspired, and continue to inspire, you.  I bet you’ll find that it’s not all composed of gold medal winners and NCAA All Americans.  There’s something to be said for the pocket of the world that you live in, and who it’s hero’s are.  The stand out runner for your local high school.  The former high school teammate become Olympian.  The coach who continues to shatter records and mold champions.

This sport and these heroes carry over into your life.  Perseverance, confidence, endurance, dedication, commitment, individuality, fortitude.  All things runners have.  All things life requires.  You can learn the most, perhaps, from your running shoes.

Why do I run?

Mom, Brianne, and I at the Lighthouse 5K 2009

I started running in high school because I was inspired by the Summer Olympics (I was a dancer for 15 years.), and have since accumulated a cloud of runners and coaches who inspire me the most.  Pre, Shalane FlanaganMichael Johnson,Val Waugaman, Nick Cordes, Katie McGregor…but one takes the cake.  My mom.

My biggest fan in high school, running along the track screaming and video-taping at the same time, I literally had to race her on the track one night to prove to her that she could not outrun me in that last stretch of the mile.  Mom began running, herself, and we’ve raced a summer circuit of 5K’s together ever since.

My mom races with rheumatoid arthritis .  Though she might be constantly disappointed in her race times, I continue to be amazed that she’s even out there racing.   No matter how much pain I seem to be in out there, I push through…because my body still allows me to.  You never know how many miles you have left in your running shoes.   An important lesson I’ve carried over into the rest of my life.

I hope my daughter to joins on the road someday, because we inspire her, too.  I just signed her up for her first 1 mile fun run in May.  She’s 2…watch…she’ll be the dancer.

Why do YOU run?