As defined by Dictionary.com, Inspiring is a verb that means: To fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence. To influence or impel. To produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.).
I have never really considered or seen myself as an inspiring individual. I look in the mirror and I see someone who’s “plain” and “average.” Not really two words that would describe someone who is inspiring, so it seems a little puzzling to me that so many would see me as “inspiring.” When I hear people tell me this, I have to look a little harder in the mirror to attempt to see what they see that I have such difficulty seeing. Hearing it makes me so uncomfortable.
It would be different if it was just one individual who said something, but when it’s several, I really have to stop and wonder, “What is it that makes ME, average, Plain Jane Row., inspiring? Are they serious?”
When I told to my friend, Suzanne, that I was frustrated with my less than stellar performance at NWM, she was quick to remind me that, “Not only did you run for the third year in a row, but you motivated me, my sister Judy and Cory to start running as well. That’s quite an accomplishment. You are our rock, stop beating yourself up.” I was so blown away and floored by her comment that I cried! (I never cry.) It was that powerful. Up until that very moment, I did not realize that I had that much of an impact of anyone.
Then I started thinking. Then I *really* began listening … and I heard …
“I wish I had your motivation, Row Row!” From my friend Mandy S.
“You are my idol,” says my friend Kelly S.
“If you stop running, I will be sad because I will never get to run with you. Plus you are a rockstar!!!” This is from my friend Victoria.
“Row, you have no idea that you are the one that motivated me to start running again. Meanwhile, 11 lbs lighter? I’m feeling great! Thanks. YOU made me make myself better.” This is from my friend Mikey M., who trains in Krav Maga with me, and works out with me at the dojo we belong to.
My friend and my FAVORITE trainer, Scott, calls me, “Badass!”
My friend, Janice, told me that she loves my FaceBook pics because she said that, “Your pics embody the picture of fitness and happiness. It’s a great mix!”
Melissa, an old co-worker, was feeling out of sorts. I had inspired her to run and even purchase a bike, but life got in the way and she fell off the band wagon. When I saw her at C.I.M., she told me that our friend Cory looked awesome and that she was jealous because she knew, “It’s all you, Row. Your enthusiasm for running and working out rubs off on everyone. You do that to people.”
Memri, one of my old workout buddies, called me out of the blue one afternoon and told me that she wants ME to help her train for a half marathon. Me. She told me that I was the only one she knew who was consistent and that would actually help her.
And my beautiful friend, Cory, she told me yesterday that she is ready to run a FULL marathon and asked if I would train with her! What? Yep … so we are planning to run CIM next year! Wow!
There’s more out there, and every one of them makes me feel good, they make me feel proud, and I smile. I never
knew that I needed to hear these things about me. The thing is, though, is that I am not anyone special, so far from extraordinary. I am your average, everyday woman. I am a mother, wife, Registered Nurse, runner, gym rat. I have not discovered the cure for some God awful disease. I have a tendency to be whiny, needy, bitchy, moody. I have not won any awards for being the fastest. Oh, wait, I take that back … I have won a race for my age group once and that was truly a great feeling! But otherwise I don’t see myself as anything special. I am just someone doing what I love. I work hard, and I play hard.
When I hear people tell me that I have motivated or inspired them, it makes me feel proud that I was able to do that for them. I believe that life and some of the things that we do are difficult and that we could all use a little help to get through and to work a little harder, move a little faster, etc. I’m the obnoxious one in cardio or spin class that will yell out a little motivation from across the room. I do it for my kids when they’re out on the baseball field – just to wake them up a little, or to get them to refocus. What happens is that I only tell people what I would want to hear for myself: “Focus!” “You can do it.” “You’re doing a great job.” “You’re lookin’ good.” “You’re awesome.” “Com’mon, you got this.” “Come run with me.” “Dig deep.” “Breathe it out.” Whatever it takes to keep someone going, I will do my best to get them to come with me because I know how it feels, and because it helps me get through it also. To be honest, hearing that I have done something to help another makes me want to do it more often, and it makes me want to work harder. It’s nice to know that people notice and pay attention. It’s nice to know that I can make people feel good about themselves. I do my best to see the good, positive side of everything and every person. I believe that we can get thru things better when we have someone beside us rooting for us, and helping us along the way.
I have always believed that I just do what I love, and I want others to do the same. It’s amazing that by just me, being me I have been able to light a spark in someone. I will continue to do so – to yell out motivation to anyone and everyone. Why? Because I know what it feels like to need a lift. Because it is a very AMAZING feeling to see a poster with your name on it, while the person who made it cheers you and shouts encouragement as you run past! Because I know what it feels like to feel as if you can’t do one more push-up/jump squat/burpee/mile or whatever, then I hear someone tell me that I can … and all of a sudden I CAN do MORE than I ever believed that I could at that moment. Because my Coach @speedysasquatch reminds me that, “I CAN!” Because as I have said, I believe that paying it forward not only helps that who I am trying to help, but it helps me, too, and God knows that we could all use a little help from each other! Oh … and it makes me feel a little bit like a superhero in disguise … MiniRowRow in stealth mode – sans cape and cool colorful spandex clothing!
We CAN do this. Together we can get through whatever it is we are trying to get through! I will do whatever I can to help you, to remind you that, “You’ve. Got. This!” Let’s goooooo … !!!