2: Motivation comes in all forms
Support is a funny thing. When I encounter a lack thereof, I lace 'em up and run with a chip on my shoulder.
So, you're thinking of taking up running – maybe even training for a half marathon or, if you're really brave, a full marathon.
I commend you. It's not easy to start – my wife often struggles with getting out the front door – but it's so worth it to keep it up.
You will, undoubtedly, hear some combination of the following statements:
– Oh, you're one of those people.
– I only run if someone's chasing me.
– I only run if it's toward a beer.
– I don't drive that far in my car.
The list goes on. For some reason, a lot of people just flat out don't know what to say, because they haven't done it and can't fathom doing it. Running might be catching on, but it's not something most people do and enjoy. So, they throw out a statement like "Oh, I could never do that" or "You're crazy" to move the conversation along. Or kill it altogether.
I've dealt with a lot of pain during training – a bad knee, compensatory injuries because of it, bursting blisters, near heat stroke – and I can accept that those sort of ailments come with the territory.
What I struggle with is the same tired jokes, day in, day out. I admit, my pet peeve is beating a joke to death.
What's unfortunate is that, as a result of said remarks, I don't bring up the marathon much. I've been around folks who incessantly talk about their running, training, diet, etc. Those people are obnoxious. But over the past several weeks, I've pretty much just stopped bringing up running in certain circles, knowing full well the conversation will devolve, the same way it always does.
I'd much rather hear:
– Wow! That's great! Good luck, man!
– I could never do that, but I'd like to. Got any advice?
– What made you decide to run a marathon?
– I'll be cheering for you from the couch!
Any kind word, well wish or even opportunity to share my story would be better than what come off as snide remarks. Just be happy for me. That's all I ask. Support is so crucial, not just in training for a big race, like a marathon, but in changing or trying to accomplish anything big in life – going back to school after several years away, losing weight, growing your family. Support from the people around you keep you going.
This is not a "blanket" blog entry, as lots of people have wished us luck and asked how things are going. But there are some people around whom I don't dare even broach the subject. Again, it's unfortunate.
But motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. I'll take the good and the bad and apply my favorite motto.
Don't get mad – get even better.