I was torn. I really was. It felt like bragging, and I’m not a huge fan of bragging, because its purpose is to make yourself feel better in comparison to others.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to put that 13.1 magnet on the back of my car after I finished my first half marathon. Why? Not because I want to feel better than anyone else. In fact, chances are decent that non-runners barely notice my car magnet. Greg had actually RUN a marathon and I STILL DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE 26.2 STICKERS MEANT.
I apologize for all caps, but, seriously? Really? I hadn’t figured out what those car stickers were?
So, here’s my thinking. I believe that almost anyone can run a half marathon… if they want to. Whether or not everyone can WANT to run a half marathon is the real question.
I think when someone sees the 13.1 magnet on the back of my car, and then sees a short, tired looking woman hauling two kids out of car seats in an effort to beat the lunch rush at Whole Foods, they’re going to think, “Umm, really? SHE found the time and energy to run a half marathon? REALLY?!? If she can do it, I can do it. Maybe I will.”
Why do I think this? Because I’ve actually inspired a lot of people to start running, or to run further than they’ve ever run before. I’ve inspired more runners than some people who are better, faster, and more dedicated runners than I am. I am an enthusiastic runner, and I am very real, very attainable, and very passable. I make it look like you could do it, too. BECAUSE YOU CAN.
So I’m keeping my 13.1 car magnet, and I hope that it earns me a smile of camaraderie from other runners, and a “REALLY? Well geez, I bet I could do that…” from non-runners. Or maybe, just as good, a “Really? If she can do 13.1, I can get into good enough shape for a 5K.” Awesome. Do it.
Because if you want it, if you look at that car magnet and wish you’d earned one, too, then the best thing I can do for you is show you how attainable it really is.
I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying with enough time, patience, and hard work, you could do it. Don’t ask me, though, ask your doctor. See the look of happiness on their face when you tell them you really want to step up your cardiovascular exercise.
Just promise me that if you want to, you’ll put a 3.1, 6.2, or 13.1 runbrag on your car, too. Let’s show everyone how many of us are doing it. Maybe we’ll get them to join us, and running will improve their lives, too.
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