My friends, I would like to be serious for a moment and talk about something that I believe to be very important and goes virtually unnoticed by most runners. In my first post you read about my roots in running and where I came from to where I am now. Many of us have our stories and tend to allow our memories of an unhealthy past fade so much that we fail to see the next group of runners that are struggling with some of the same problems. For example, how many of us finish the race and stand on the sidelines of a 5k to cheer for the person you don’t know, that may be overweight but is giving it their best effort to reverse bad habits? You know they finish toward the back of the pack, but they finish nonetheless. I am here to tell you that THESE are the true runners. THESE are the people with real heart. And THESE are the people that deserve our respect, encouragement and help. 99% of all runners are good, supportive people but we neglect to show it sometimes when we high-tail it back to the tent or pavilion after finishing, to talk about how the race went for us. I have been guilty of this behavior myself. Then there are the arrogant 1% that I have heard quietly poking fun at people who are slower, heavier and just starting down a path to a better life.
I say to YOU my running brothers and sisters, the next time you are at a 5k, show the support that we have in our hearts by being there to show support on the sidelines. Get to know them. Encourage them. You can change their lives if you make them feel included. Don’t let them give up. Before you know it they will be running right along side of you on a path to a better life that YOU helped them build.