Yeah, its spreading. Everyone is catching it; its all my fault! And I couldn't be happier about it!
You all know my favorite "hobby" is running. I put it in quotes because, well, its more than a hobby. Its a life style. A close runner-up to running, is getting other people hooked on it! I absolutely love seeing someone else getting into the same addiction and lifestyle. Its done wonders for me, and I know it will do wonders for them!
Whenever someone gets me started on my running, the conversation almost always leads to them proclaiming "I don't know how you do it, I could never run a marathon!" Every time I hear this, I do my best to convince them otherwise. Maybe I'll plant a seed, and in a few years they'll go at it? Maybe I'll never even know about it. But its definitely a chance to transform someones life for the better.
My sister went to watch my first marathon about a year ago. Right after the race she told me she decided she wanted to join in on the fun, and my friend Susan said she wanted to do another one too! They both lived up to their word, for the most part. My sister finished Chicago, and Susan made it 14 miles. She really lost her drive to train, and her longest run was 11 miles. Regardless, making it 14 miles, especially in those conditions, really says something! I'm proud of both of them and feel slightly responsible for getting my sister hooked!
Now, what brings this up, you ask? Hearing more of the same after running Chicago this year! My dad ran part of the end of race with my sister last Sunday, and I think having all those people cheering for him on really made him catch the bug. A few days later he admitted to me he's thinking of giving it a shot if his joints and hamstrings hold up! He's been a runner for about the last 15-20 years, but has never really pushed it beyond a half marathon. He bikes like crazy, going out for 3-4 hours several times a week, so he definitely has the stamina for it if his joints hold up. Here's to a healthy family, two down, one to go!
The other person who caught the bug really caught me off guard; it's my friend Lewis. Looking at him, you'd never call him a runner. He's a pretty athletic guy and was the mascot for EIU the last several years. Since he lives up in Chicago I asked if I could steal a spot on his couch Friday night after my plane got in, little did he know what it was going to be the start of.
Being the good friend he is, he came to the expo with me on Saturday so I wouldn't have to wander the city alone. What got him was seeing the vast variety of people who can run a marathon. It wasn't all young, short, skinny guys that did it. Runners came from all over and were big and small, tall and short, young and old. After experiencing the energy on Sunday, and seeing me in a state of pleasant exhaustion after the race, he caught the bug good!
At first I was a little skeptical; I figured race weekend would be over and with it would go the bug that he caught. But I was wrong. He started running almost immediately. By Tuesday, he had already started to go for 2 mile walk/runs. He's enjoying it, too. He's hooked.
Do you get the same thrill out of spreading the addiction of running? How many people have you gotten hooked on our life style? What if every runner got just two more people into the sport, and they in turn did the same?