Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pay It Forward

Five weeks ago, a local training program called Building Steam started, in which I volunteered to be a group leader.  Along with three other leaders, we mentor and lead group runs.  Some are new runners, some are finding their way back to the sport, and others working to improve their speed.  The 11-week program has pace groups for every level, preparing runners and walkers alike for Peoria's Steamboat Classic 4 mile race on June 18.  The Steamboat is regarded as the world's fastest 4 miles since it holds all the major World Records for that distance (see here).  Can you say flat course?!

As the calendar flipped last January, one of my resolutions was to Pay It Forward, to inspire, motivate and help others find that inner happiness that running (and weight loss!) has brought to my life.  It's hard to put into words the passion that running has become for me.  Thus, this blog was born, and I've tried to get involved with motivational events like Building Steam.

However, after last night's group run, I realized I'm getting back just as much out of this.  I've made some fabulous new friendships (online and off), who offer great advise and encouragement as I begin the quest to my first 26.2.  I've found new running partners that are crazy like me and prefer the crack-of-dawn.  I learn from every new runner I meet, regardless of their fitness level.  It's funny how it works... but the more you GIVE, the more you RECEIVE.

When I first started running, I always felt guilt for taking personal time and leaving my family behind.  At an unhealthy 220 pounds, I relied on this quote to get me out the door and make a change...

"I can better take care of my family when I first take care of myself."

I no longer need to be reminded of WHY I run (although sometimes I still need a gentle push our the door).  After every run, I return home as a refreshed woman, making me a better mother and wife, the two most important roles of my life.


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13 comments:

  1. Amen! To be the best wife and moms we NEED to take time to do this!(aka was mamarunsbarefoot)

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  2. You are awesome for volunteering! I am sure everyone is so glad they met you too, cause you are amazing!

    I am hoping to join some local group runs soon for my marathon training and I can't wait to meet some new people who share the same passion I do.

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  3. I keep trying to keep this in mind when guilt sets in...taking care of me is OK!!

    I have loved ASIC's new campain!!! I've seen the commercials but I love this too!

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  4. Yay for you and your pay it forward. I love your quote and have one similar as I don't have children but I have a hubby that doesn't get my crazy running and NEED for running. I am always reminding him that a healthy me is a happy me and both those make me a good wife.

    keep up all your hard work!

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  5. You are SO SO right!!! I so want to pay it forward too... I want other people to feel as good as I do and to know how great it feels to be healthy and fit. :) and AMEN to moms needing to take care of themselves.

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  6. i love this post and i'm loving your blog!! so happy to have found it :)

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  7. woo hoo for paying it forward! good for you :)

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  8. Paying it forward is GREAT!! in that same vein, feel free to let me know if you have any questions as you're marathon training. Would be more than happy to help!

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  9. Great post! And that quote is totally right!

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  10. LOVE that quote and GREAT, GREAT post...totally pumped me up for my morning run!!!

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  11. First time posting! Love that you are paying it forward and volunteering and THANK YOU for sharing that quote!!!

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  12. awesome post Jess.

    Loved this.

    YAY for volunteering.

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