I dedicate this blog to Julia, the wonderful individual shown above. For me, she is living proof that inspiration can come when you least expect it.
It happened during this past winter when I attended the cocktail party, hosted by my former employer, which allowed the opportunity to spend time with my clients. One moment of conversation caught my attention when Julia expressed interest in possibly running a marathon. With her obviously lean, athletic, physique, it was evident that this was a challenge she could easily conquer. I can't recall my exact choice of words, but I know they went a little bit like, "Oh, I've done that three times. You've got this." The very next day, she sent me an e-mail informing me that I was her inspiration to run a marathon this year...I was stunned.
Why? Because my decision to run marathons seemed so nonchalant. It all began, nine years ago, after I ended that one serious relationship, in L.A., on top of feeling like my acting career was going nowhere, I was forced to think "Now what?"
After moving out of his apartment one day, I spent that night doing what normal, single, girls do...Grab a drinks with the girls. A mutual friend announced that the Rock -n- Roll San Diego Marathon was taking place in six months, which raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A surge ignited my body; I want to a better athlete than I ever was during my teenage years! I'm not going to lie, I choked- looking at the distance 26.2 miles documented on the medical form we were told to fill out during the sign-up meeting. A girl, my age, approached me and said "I know it looks intimidating, but I did it last year, trust me, I know you can do it." It turns out that she was the special guest speaker and as she stood at the podium, announcing that she just beat cancer 2 years ago and ran the marathon immediately after her last round of chemo therapy, I knew I needed to absorb her encouraging words.
As time progressed, not only did I find that training to run 26.2 miles was going to be a challenge, but it was going to be a lifestyle that would soon alter my ability to tap further into physical and mental intuition. It became my introduction to focus, discipline, strategy, all while processing the deep meditation between me and the road ahead. The discipline gave me a sense of stability in a world full of new beginnings. And crossing that finish line is a feeling - I still can't find the words to describe, other than "racing to save lives" was actually saving my life as well as others.
Sadly, after 3 marathons and 3 years later, I had to say goodbye to the lifestyle. My knees were telling me that they simply had enough. But taking away the lesson learned, during my marathon days is a reminder that with perseverance, anything is possible.
And this is where the "You never know..." moment comes into play...
Who would have thought that taking action to better my life could turn around and inspire someone else? Who would have thought that great joy could be found, hearing about Julia's running goals and progress? Who would have thought that passing the torch would spark gratitude for my past? And ultimately, who would have thought that words of encouragement could go so far?
A change is now occurring. And this "you never know..." moment is showing me that words are powerful and come with great responsibility. And when used to encourage others, the positive impact is beyond measurable.
Julia, I hope you have had an amazing birthday. I am so excited for you and I couldn't think of a better, more adventurous, way to celebrate your first year, in America, than to take it all in and run with it.
- Run like the wind...