Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spreading the Disease...

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?


Bill Carter said...

Man I know exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes I feel like all I do is talk about running (or eyes) and it must get pretty boring to other people. But you are right in that people are fascinated by the idea of actually covering 26 miles. You can really see their eyes light up when they realize that marathoners come in all different sizes and shapes and from all walks of life. I've been giving some running lectures at my local Lifetime Fitness and the first thing I tell everyone there is that we as runners are all the same. It doesn't matter what body type we are, what distance we like to run, or how fast we are. All of us are runners and that makes us part of a very special group.
Very cool post and keep on recruiting... I know I will.

Nancy said...

Isn't this cool? My sis in law says running with me got her hooked. Now she's getting her hubby (my husband's brother into it.) I also got my own hubby moving. He made it up to 14 before unfortunate injury. I'm not sure who the next victim will be :D

Jess said...

If running is a disease, I must not be contagious enough. My husband decided briefly he'd like to follow me and start running -- he ran 1 mile and declared the sport "stupid and that was it. I have a few friends who have joined me on a few 5Ks, but I guess I made too much of "smoking their asses" and they too haven't been as interested. Huh. Could it be that my symptoms aren't very appealing?

nwgdc said...

well, how'd the chiro go? hurry up and update!

Tiffany said...

I fall into the tall (6'0"), young, nonskinny category....

That is awesome how you rubbed off on them!