I used to see your stickers and inwardly roll my eyes. Your 26.2s and your 13.1s. Your “Just Run” and “I Run Because I Can” bumper stickers. I used to see them and think, “We get it. You can run. Congrats.” (I’m such a snot, right?) But then I became a runner. And now instead of my petty little jealous thoughts, I feel inspired. Now I see your stickers and I think, “You rock.” Because now I know and understand some of what it takes. I’m working up to my first half marathon in May and I really do get it. The fact that I’m about to lose a toenail really makes me feel legit. (And unfortunately, just in time for flip-flop season. This is totally going to ruin my feet for summer. Boo.)
And so now, your stickers inspire me. It’s a whole different type of jealousy. It’s admiration. It’s respect. And it’s tons of inspiration. I see your stickers and I think, “You did it. You paid the price and you did it. You toughed it out and did it.” I see your stickers and think, if I can run 11.3 miles, then I can run 13.1 miles like you did. I see your stickers and think, “That’s not some crazy Olympian. That’s another chick like me. And she’s got a sticker.”
I used to see the sticker and think it was a little egotistical. A little braggy. Now that I know what it takes, I see the sticker and I think, “Thank you. Thanks for reminding me that if you can do it, I can too.” And when I do, I’m gonna get a sticker.