This could have been the end of the story except one summer after college this friend ended up living in my city as part of a summer internship and we actually ended up hanging out in the time I could find between all my training. This was of course the summer I was training for Hartford, and I was taking it so seriously. I thought this would be the year I would come close to 4 hours. My mantra that summer was "If you want something bad enough it's worth everything you give up to get there". To most people I know I give off the vibe of "crazy runner", and I don't mind much. But when people ask me for help or advice, I am so excited to share my world to anyone who would listen. So this friend starts asking for advice on running and of course I am more than happy to help. I talk about baby steps, increasing distance a little bit each time, or each week, etc. As summer comes to an end and fall approaches he tells me he is signing up for his first 5k. It warms my heart when I can share my love for running with someone else, and even more so when they have the self motivation to keep going. It is incredibly hard to push someone every step of the way and when that happens you almost wonder if they even want it at all. But when someone comes along who really wants it, and is really interested in what you have to say, that is amazing. After all, I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all the people in my life who gave me advice and encouragement to keep on going. This friend is now on his way to his second half marathon.
Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to get to other people's level that I forget there are people who look up to me. Sometimes I even forget that I am probably conveying the wrong message to them by being so stubborn. Not everyone has to be a crazy dedicated runner. Not everyone should push themselves through pain and discomfort. But I am glad that I can be an inspiration to anyone, at any level.