This is long. But I'm off work today (wasn't feeling well this morning), so I have time and am just reflecting on something that makes me so happy. So I just wanted to share with all my friends here.
Although I know a lot of people in "real life" who run and exercise, most of the people that are very important to me in my daily life do not. Well, in the past few weeks, I noticed a rapid change in that. Apparently, important people in my life have been noticing my dedication to running and general fitness and healthy eating. They see how busy I am (I work a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs, and have a very active social life in addition with a lot going on...for example as of April 27th I will have attended 8 weddings in a year plus bridal showers, bachelorette parties, ect...and have a long distance relationship, ect. ect.) and have stopped using being busy as an excuse not to exercise and to eat crappy. It seems I have made a lot of people around me realize that if I can do it, they can do it. And suddenly a lot of important people to me are getting healthy. This is a side effect I never planned on when I began running, but it is something that makes me far happier and that I am far more proud of than any progress I personally have made.
#1-My boyfriend was very active as a child and young adult. He was competitive in soccer throughout his childhood and teenage years. Additionally he played baseball and hockey. As a young adult he did "for fun" adult soccer leagues after work. However, plagued by knee injuries and asthma he ended up stopping playing soccer. Not very into "going to the gym," aside from playing golf occasionally on weekends during warm weather months and walking his dog, he does not exercise at all. He is very busy at work, as I am, and tends to eat what is easy and quick, which tends to be crap. But recently, with me leaving him at home during our weekends together while I go out for runs, and hearing about my healthy eating changes, he decided he too wanted to make changes. After doing a lot of research, last weekend he bought a bike. He got a trainer for it for his house, and now plans to ride at home in his house 2-3 nights a week after work, and take it out on weekends. He has set goals for himself regarding different bike trails by him of different distances, and hopes to participate in some biking events down the road (not so much "races" but long group rides). He bought a rack for his car so he can travel with it. I am so proud and excited for him! He told me he wishes he could run like me, but doesn't know how his knees would hold up, so he wants to start with something less high impact and high stress on the body. He hopes that if he can get into better shape with the bike then maybe he will be able to run a little one day.
#2- My dad was a very serious athlete his whole life. He even expected a career in pro football until he had a career ending knee injury during a game late in his senior year. He played in adult basketball leagues until he was in his early 40s when he was just getting injured too often. He gained a ton of weight in his 40s. He went through a huge health and fitness kick when he turned 49 and vowed to lose "50 by 50." Joined a gym, worked his ass off, began eating really healthy. And he did lose 50 pounds that year! In the few years that followed, the gym going slowly began to decrease, and now in his mid-50s he hasn't gone in almost a year. Well, we are both HUGE NY Giants fans. When I found out that there was going to be a 5K in June at the stadium that ends in the Giants endzone, I knew he and I needed to do it together. He signed up with me, and immediately returned to the gym. He is going to get back in shape over then next month or 2 doing the elliptical and stationary bike, and then begin c25K. I am so excited!
#3- My mom has always been very skinny. Just naturally. She doesn't eat all that healthy (though she doesn't eat all that much, she is very good with portion control), and never exercises. Ever. She joined a gym 27 years ago to lose the baby weight from having me, and went for 6 months, and then again 23 years ago when she had my brother for 6 months. And that is IT. Well, in her mid-50s she has noticed a change in metabolism and her body. She just had my old bike fixed up, and bought a helmet. She bought free weights and a stability ball and asked me to show her exercises. And she had me teach her tricks about healthy eating. So proud of her!
#4- One of my best friends in Brooklyn that I see on a daily basis just got fitted for running shoes at the LRS. She said if I find time to run, so can she! She wants to wait til it gets warm, but has started to run/walk on the treadmill at the gym and just asked if I would like to run a few days per week with her in the spring to get her started!
So anyway....had some time, so I wanted to share this with you guys, as it is something that makes me very proud. If my running had even a little bit of an influence on these people in my life making these choices to begin a fitness program, then my running is well worth it!
PRs: 5K- 28:16 (5/5/13) 10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13) 4M- 41:43 (9/7/13) 15K- 1:34:25 (8/17/13) 10M- 1:57:23 (6/15/13) HM- 2:21:47 (10/12/13)
That's great that you are influencing so many people in your life It definitely is a big motivator for people when their nearest and dearest make healthier choices and make changes.
I am sure that is exciting and very rewarding. I was hoping that would be a side effect of my exercise and eating habits as well. None of the important people in my life exercise at all. None of them eat healthy either. My wife only eats healthy because I do the cooking. I have may obese friends and a couple who have major health issues because of it.
I have tried encouraging, preaching, leading by example and none of it seems to work. I get tired of hearing about all of their issues and complaints about being tired all the time and not sleeping..... My answer is always exercise. They always respond with "That is not the cure for everything".
I am done. They will or they won't. If they don't care enough, I can't.
I am very happy that the important people in your life are attempting to make changes. I hope they stick with it.
The one thing in life that rarely succeeds is evangelizing. The one thing in life that does sometimes succeed is setting an example. I learned a long time ago that I am not responsible for the actions of others but I am responsible for my own actions. I went through my exercise evangelizing phase when I'd been running a year or so and then realized that I sounded exactly like the gun fetishists or religious nuts or food Nazis that drive me crazy.
Most of us need some kind of wake up call. For me, it was buying a pair of pants that had a 42 inch waist. I have a younger co-worker who has gone through every diet known to man except "eat less, exercise more." She was just told she needs medication to manage her glucose levels. She said that is her wake up call and I hope it is. I have simply said that if I can help in any way, I'll be more than happy to do so. She'll have to decide whether she wants to live healthier or whether she wants to take pills.
Kudos to you kristin for setting the example but don't feel guilty if one or all of them quit.
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Ball of Fury
That's great Kristin! I have had a few people start things because of my weight loss/fitness, but not too many of them follow through. I just keep offering advice/support when asked and that's about all I/we can do. I did have a friend ask if she could run with me this weekend, so we will see how that works out. Of course, she is even skinnier than I am so she certainly doesn't need to lose weight!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
That's great news. I have two friends who have picked up running in the past year and the way each of them has checked in their progress/goals with me tells me that I was part of the inspiration for their new habit. It's hugely rewarding.
PRs: 1 mile 6:57 // 5k 24:12 // 5 mile 39:32* // 10k 49.10* // Half 1:52:18
* courses slightly short
"It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."
~ Sir Edmund Hillary
Great post, Kristin. So awesome that you are having a positive affect on people.
LTH, so true. I used to evangilize too. Now I just shut my mouth and do my thing.
Upcoming races: Crim 10 Mile 8/24 (1:25:46, PR), Brooksie Way HM 9/29 (1:52:56, PR), Detroit Free Press HM 10/20 (goal race)
2013 Goal: Survive JFK50
I agree about you cannot evangelize. Many people can take that as a put-down when you are telling them what they 'should' do. Most people (whether they admit it or not) automatically 'tune out' to a degree when someone is telling them what they should do.
I too just got out there and ran, and some of my friends have followed along and gotten on the wagon. I can think of 3 off-hand that stuck with it, and I can think of a couple others who faded quickly back to old habits.
All you can do is (as mentioned above), Do your thing! You are setting a positive example at the same time. Just like a smile can be contagious, so can running. Some folks will stay with it, others may fade away after a time, but don't feel bad if some of the folks eventually quit running.
OP, As it stands right now, you have 4 folks who are trying to move in a positive direction based off of your example and that is superb! If they continue and make the full and permanenent 'lifestyle change' to the healthier lifestyle, that will be Awesome ! :-)
The Plan (big parts)→ /// Nov 23rd : JFK-50 Miler in MD (survived!) /// Dec 21st: Seashore Nature Trail 50K in VA Beach /// March 2014: Shamrock Marathon /// April 2014: 24 Hour Run for Cancer ∞
That is great. I helped my wife get started on running a few months ago and we are running our first HM together next month. It does feel good.
Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 6 Apr 20:21
La Jolla HM - 28 Apr 1:40:33
Laguna Hills Memorial Day 10k - 27 May 42:17
Camp Pendleton Mud Run 10k - 1 June 1:39:29
Missoula HM - 14 July - 1:35:59
Main Street Halloween Run 10k - 27 Oct 42:45
Tucson Marathon - 8 Dec
That is wonderful, Kristin! Bravo!
I think that maybe I have inspired my SILs to try losing weight through physical activities. But none of them run. One has taken up TM walking, one swims and one does "zumba". Whatever that is...)
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
Thanks guys! It makes me really happy.
I never once preached or "evangelized" to anyone. They did it all on their own. The only one I suggested running to was my dad. When he came to watch me do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, he was really into it and was talking the whole ride home about how he wished he could have ran with me and how he wanted to get back to the gym and get into shape and maybe run a race with me one day. When I heard about the Giants run, I suggested it to him and he was all in. He even registered us 10 minutes after registration opened and went to the gym the next morning haha.
I really think/hope my boyfriend will stick with the biking. He is pretty excited about it. He also dropped over 2 grand in the bike shop on the bike, trainer, bike rack, water bottle holder, pedals, shoes, padded shorts (with attached "regular looking" shorts OVER the spandex because he is too shy to wear spandex yet haha) and he HATES wasting money more than anyone I've ever met so if for no other reason I hope he will stick with it to get his money's worth.
The one person I think is least likely to stick with exercise is my mom. My dad and my boyfriend both come from an athletic history and while neither has done much exercise in a few years they both "have it in them." My mom has not done a lick of exercise in 23 years, so it may be more difficult for her, but she took important first steps. She got my old bike fixed up, she bought a helmet and the home exercise stuff. Here's to hoping.
Kristin, your post is great news. We all wonder sometimes whether we positively impact others. Obviously, you have.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot
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