Excitement is a very contagious emotion. At least for me it is. When those around me are buzzing I tend to start buzzing as well. I can easily get caught up in the excitement, not really paying attention to if it’s the right thing for me to be excited about or not.
A good example was this past weekend. Here in Syracuse we have a 4 mile run called the Tipperary Hill Shamrock run. Pretty much every single person I know who runs in this town was going to be there running this past Saturday. I myself have never ran it…even years ago when I would run most local races that are 10K’s and under. But I have just never had any interest. Though the after party always sounded nice, the hills did not. It’s in an area I’m not familiar with and while my Irish blood loves a good shamrock themed run, it just didn’t appeal enough to me.
But hearing everyone talk a few days before about the race and seeing everyone post their excitement on Facebook about it got ME excited. I contemplated signing up. Even though in my head I told myself no because A.) Hills and B.) The post party does not interest me any longer, obviously and C.) I had planned to have my own running adventure the next day, when the weather would be a bit warmer. But all of a sudden I was double questioning myself and these plans. Maybe I really did want to run this race.
No…no, I didn’t. I just caught the excitement bug.
I’m glad I didn’t run that race. Because the day after I went out on my own adventure and ran a glorious 10 miles. I even tackled….HILLS!! I even did…HILL REPEATS!! Who am I?! It was a great run and I had a really great time. Those 10 miles were completely unplanned and spontaneous. I ran those 10 miles like I had hoped to run the Lake Effect ½ marathon….and how I hope to run the Syracuse ½ in 2 weeks (seriously...PUUUUHLEAAASSSEEE let me have a run like this during a race...I can't handle another struggling race.)
Running with the Lake Effect Run Club has been one of the best things to come into my life. The friendships I have made and the support and encouragement is like nothing else I have ever experiences before. It’s very similar to a Weight Watchers meeting…but I’d even go as far as saying a bit more intense & involved. But I don’t need to do everything that the club does. I don’t need to run every race that most of my friends are running. For one, I can’t afford it and also, not every race is for me. That doesn’t make me less of a runner or not as dedicated.
Listen…I love running (mostly after I am done actually performing the physical motion of running). I don’t dedicate my life to it. I don’t consider myself a “fanatic” of running. I don’t live in running clothes (hell I don’t even wear sneakers other than when I am running) and I don’t consider half marathons to be something that I can do in my sleep…and that’s A-OK. It doesn’t take my miles away from me, or weaken the heart that I put into running.
I have to remind myself that I run for *ME*. I should be signing up for races because *I* want to run them. I have to be careful to not get caught up in others excitement and put myself into situations that maybe are just not for me. There will be many other races coming up this year where I will feel like I should be there. Maybe some of them I will be, but there will be plenty where I wont...and that's OK. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t get inspired or challenged by their enthusiasm. But I should always be keeping my own goals in check.
This really goes for anything…whether you’re wanting to lose weight, enter your first race, start a family, try that croissant/donut hybrid love child…you have to choose to do something *when* it is right for you and because it is right for *you*. Let others excitement inspire you to reach for greatness within yourself...it might not always be the same path, and the details may not be the same, but in the end it's all for the same outcome...and that's to be a stronger version of your current self.