Ever have one of those friends you wish you could help with a weight or health problem? In an attempt to get them to be more active you say something like “hey, let’s go for a run” . The excuses I have heard when presenting that option, range from, ” I don’t have the energy” , “can’t my knees are shot” or my favorite, “dude, it’s easy for you, you were born in shape”. Hearing all these excuses was defeating. I walked away thinking, I tried and if you want to be unhealthy that’s up to you. It was very easy to give up on someone who seemed to have given up on themselves. It took some time for me to admit it but we had both taken the easy way out. I had given up too easily, now my friend continues down the road to doctors, prescriptions, increased medical costs and bad news.
I never want to give up on my friends, so I formulated a new plan I now counter defeating excuses with “OK, how about a walk?” I finally realized while posing the let’s go for a run option, there was something that I may not have considered. I may have set the bar too high. As an ultra runner I had forgotten about those, most important, first few steps. I didn’t remember how hard it was to lace up those shoes the first few times, and take those first steps. I am very happy to report that I have had great success motivating others with my new second question. Try it, it works.
I am challenging everyone reading this to get a friend off the couch. This can be easily done, one day a week to start. Yea, I know, it’s hard to take a day out of the running schedule, and it’s totally inconvenient to give away valuable training time, but isn’t that the type of small sacrifice that helping is all about? You can use your recovery day, or your off day, and spend an hour with a friend who would really benefit from your help, encouragement and company. It won’t be easy for you, or for them, but it could very well be the single most important thing you do this year, and who knows you may even end up with an awesome running buddy.