“How many miles today, Sandi?”
Motivation is a relative word, since every runner gets motivated in a different way. Some are motivated by running with friends. Others get motivated by running in certain places they know will provide a challenge. And for some, motivation might come from a special word of encouragement by a loved one.
While all the above motivates me as well, lately something new has been motivating me. It’s comments from others at my gym. By now, I’ve had conversations with many people there about my marathon training—from fellow gym members, to the owner, to the people who work the desk, to the class instructors, to the cleaning staff. When they see me run, they get curious and ask questions about what it’s like to train for a marathon. Sometimes, they simply ask how many miles I plan to run for that day. I can’t fully explain it, but whenever I hear this question, it does something to me. I might raise the incline, or pick up my pace, or even just feel re-energized. That single question inspires me to give my best effort, boosts my mood, and increases my confidence in my running ability.
I suppose this is because at those moments, I feel like I’m not in this alone. There’s a whole bunch of people—many of whom are not even runners themselves—who are genuinely interested or curious about my progress.
Sometimes, after asking me questions, some of these people step onto the treadmill right next to me and walk or jog for a bit, or say something like “Since I see you here running this many miles, I think I will consider training for (some type of race).” And what can be more motivating than hearing that?
What motivates you to perform your best? Whatever it is, whoever it is, or wherever it is, take advantage of it to the fullest! When you’re around that person, place, or thing, make it a point to push a little harder, go a little faster, and challenge yourself just a little bit more than you did the day before. You won’t be disappointed!