I changed my friends to change me

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2019

Several years ago I dumped my friends and found some new ones. I was unhealthy physically and mentally and I associated with those that were the very same. Unhealthy, unhappy and often put me down when I spoke my dreams. I told one of my “friends” my dream of opening my own fitness program. Her response was “You aim too high”.  Seriously?  I wasn't dreaming big enough. 

As I was trying to fix my health habits, build a new business and trying to lose weight and get well mentally, I was hanging out with those that were dragging me down. So I chose to dump my "friends".

The best thing I ever did was start running. Not that running was the best kind of exercise. Truth is, I don't get as great of physical results from running as I do from doing the Phazes Circuit or other interval training programs. BUT, What I did get out of running was this...

Inspiration from others.

As I joined running groups and associated with people crossing finish lines on a regular basis, I found that these people don't set limits on others around them. They cheer each other on. They urge you to be better, faster, stronger. I found my confidence grew because of these amazing people. I was crossing finish lines and getting faster and I was around people that always saw that in me.

 

I remember one 10 mile race I was in, I was struggling. I am not the fastest runner out there by a long shot. I am not in it to win a medal. I am in it to be better than I was. It's for me internally more than anything else. So there I was struggling to finish a 10 mile race. My knees were hurting and I felt like I was done. I found myself in pace running next to a super tall older man and we started talking and running together. I found out he was a cancer survivor and started running when he found out he had cancer a few years ago... in his 70's! What? Seriously! I might have shed tears. I met amazing people at each race I did. I found people that ran their first marathon at age 65.

 

I was speaking to one of my running buddies, Cathy Ford, who had just completed an Ironman competition at age 40, and I said “I could never do that.” Her response to me was, “never say that you could never do that. You never know where your journey will take you. You might decide you want to try it at age 50. Never limit your potential with your words. “

 

These were my new friends. Friends like Cory Reese who taught me to stop and take pictures mid run. Friends like Cherie Santiago who taught me it's about the laughs. Friends like Polly who taught me to keep truckin on and push through it. Friends like Lyle, who taught me not to lie down and take it. And one of my favorites, friends like Braydon who taught me to love everyone and cheer them on as they pass me and yell “Booyah!”

And many many others.  This blog could go on forever naming each person I have met during those beginning running years that shaped me and changed me and gave me pieces I needed.  I thank all of them.

 

Changing my friends changed me. I don't consider myself a runner. I still don't LOVE running. But I love runners. I love who they are. I love their strength, their will and their determination. I guess I am a runner in a way. I have adopted their way of thinking and applied these traits to my life. I might not run very often these days as I have found lots of other ways to be fit. BUT, I still sign up for little short races here and there every few months just to stay connected and inspired.

So get out there, meet these amazing people, cross a finish line.  Make some amazing friends that build you up.  See if it doesn't change you.

 

 My 40th birthday and first marathon was also a celebration of Braydon's life with so many of our friends as he had passed away a couple of months earlier.  What a way to celebrate and be inspired.  And to think just a few years earlier I was struggling to walk even one block.  These are the people that let me know I can do anything.   I hope to always associate with these kinds of people and find them in all areas of life.

Seek out others that lift you.  I found them in the running community.  Where do you find them?

 - Michelle E. 

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