What motivates you? What a great topic for today of all days: Marathon Monday.
Interestingly enough the things that motivate me when I am running are the same things that can also psych me out and discourage me. It all depends on my outlook. Watching footage of people running or exercising on TV while I am on the treadmill, remembering the people who laughed when I told them I was planning to run a half marathon, thinking about my friends who ran 26.2 miles today, reading articles about how to train and prepare for a race: these are all things that on a good day (when I am feeling positive) can totally motivate me or on a bad day can make me feel discouraged and inferior. It is amazing how your frame of mind can totally control how you will feel psychologically when doing anything difficult.
However...sometimes there are amazingly powerful motivators that totally hit home regardless of my frame of mind.
Back in January when I was at the Disney full marathon cheering on a family member who was running, I witnessed something that really affected me: I saw a man running the full marathon with two prosthetic legs. I couldn't take my eyes off of him; to me he embodied all of the characteristics I associate with bravery. It was then that I decided to sign up for the half marathon in 2016. Until that moment I was full of excuses about why I couldn't train and run another half marathon - most included things like "I'm too old", "I don't have time", and "I prefer sitting". But in the instant of seeing this amazing man running 26.2 miles with two prosthetic legs, I knew I had no excuse. And if there were ever a time in my life where I needed to make a positive healthy change and actually train for a half marathon, now was that time.
And today I felt motivated and inspired in a similar fashion. I was at the gym cooling down on the treadmill after a difficult run and I started watching an interview on TV with Rebekah Gregory DiMartino: survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. She ended up having one of her legs amputated after surviving the attack in Boston that year. But that did not get Rebekah down, with one prosthetic leg she trained to run the marathon this year - and run it she did. She collapsed on the ground after crossing the finish line out of sheer emotion and when you watch the footage anyone can see how running the marathon this year was exactly how Rebekah got her life back. An amazing thing happened while that interview was playing on the TV at my gym, everyone who was working out nearby stopped what they were doing and watched in silence. We had to read the close caption to know what Rebekah was saying because the TVs at the gym are always on mute, but that didn't matter - we all watched in awe; before I knew it, I was crying. I am not a person who often allows herself to be emotional in public but this time it couldn't be helped. I was completely overcome with emotion because of Rebekah's amazing story. And suddenly I was no longer complaining in my mind about the difficult run I had just had - instead I was thinking about how lucky I am to be strong enough to run at all and how I need to keep at it so I can get even stronger.
So let me ask the runners and non-runners out there: what motivates you? What inspires you in this life of yours? The answers can reveal a lot about who you are.