I have had many other people touch my life throughout the years by believing in me. They have made an impact on me and have helped shape the course I have taken.
The first person to ever believe in me was my Oma (German for grandma.) She was an inspiring woman who overcame everything that ever stood in her path. As a child growing up in Germany during WWII, she eventually came over to the US alone with her children in tow. She created a life and an opportunity for her family. You see, I am the first to be born on US soil. She gave me that opportunity by bringing my family over here. From as early as I can remember, she pushed me to be my best and accepted nothing less than my hardest effort. The day I became the first in our family to go to college she was beaming. I have never seen her more proud of me. She is the one I thank for my moral compass and my hard work ethic. I learned that nothing comes easy, but everything worth working for takes hard work.
Another person who has never really understood her impact is April. She is the first person to really tell me I could run a marathon. I thought she was crazy. We had met at a baby shower and ran into each other at a half marathon expo. We got to chatting and I told her I’m not sure I could ever do a full. She encouraged me to participate in the local running program, Luke’s Locker, and I that could do anything. Two marathons and an Ironman later, I can thank her for giving me the initial push and the thought in my head that I could do anything. Thank you for believing in me April, and lighting the fire that continues to burn.
I could not do what I do without the support of my husband. He encourages me to do whatever I need to do to be successful. We race the same races, but he goes above and beyond to support me. Our job stresses can be very different and he takes on more than his fair share of housework, errands and whatever it takes to keep me moving. He is also the first one to tell me to go get em during the race (which will change because he is going to get fast this year and I won’t even see him on the course.) We are both highly competitive people but never wish anything but the best performance for each other. Besides, a family win is not a win if you didn’t give your best.
Think about who helped you along the way. We never are able to reach our goals without the help and support of others.
A lot of people take the new year as an opportunity to initiate change. Change is hard. We have to resist our normal and form new habits. All of these things are very difficult, even with help. So, when you have to wait an extra five minutes to get your treadmill, or share the lane with five people instead of three, think about when you started. Think about who helped you. Starting is hard, terrifying even. The gym can be a scary place. Provide a friendly face that encourages someone to come back the next day and work on their goals. Because their hardest step is getting out the door. Be the encouragement so they come back and not the reason they feel unwelcome.
You have the power to be the inspiration