Finding Inspiration In Marathon Runners

I don’t like to run. My legs hurt, my butt  jiggles, and I find myself making deals like, “If I just make it through this next song, I can walk the next.” Or “All you have to do is go two more blocks and then it will all be over.” Hardly the best kind of motivation to get you through a work out. So I don’t run very much. But after this year’s Boston Marathon, I find myself thinking a lot about running. And occasionally, actually doing it.

I’m fascinated by runners. Fascinated by the desire to go outside (or worse stay inside on a treadmill to nowhere) and pound feet into the pavement each day despite pain in their bodies or danger from the elements… Not the mention other things that cross their path like cars, bikes and dogs. I’m even more fascinated by the marathoner. I can barely get through a few miles without wanting to lay down on the ground in a sweaty panting mess. Marathoners train to run over 26 of them. And those running the Boston marathon are the elite.  The ones who qualified through their times from other marathons that year to run this race of champions.

Boston marathoners

The events that transpired at the Boston Marathon were horrifying, scary and a dreadful wake up (again) to the world we are currently in.  But it also showed a glimpse into the world of runners. Within hours my Facebook feed was filled with statuses, cartoons and memes all stating the strength and perseverance of a runner. As our nation joined together in shock over these awful and cowardly events, runners emerged as heroes showing themselves as a group who will not be swayed, bullied, or made to back down. As did my former home away from home, the marvelous city of Boston.

I guess when you can go 26.2 miles on your feet as fast as possible, you can stand up to anything.

I want to channel these people, these runners. Not because I want to be a runner (because even though I might on occasion, jog, the dislike of the butt jiggle is going to win every time), but because I know that anything is possible if we believe it to be. Everyone needs some sort of motivation to reach that 26.2nd mile. I often hear that there just isn’t time to move, to exercise.  And I wonder, did these runners not always have time? They found it, day in and day out. And somehow despite fear, pain and shock, they also found motivation to run to area hospitals to donate blood and give statements. They stood as warriors.

The elite runners

In order to take care of our bodies, we need to move them every single day. If we do not, we grow soft, we grow weak, we let ourselves be vulnerable to attack. Every person running the Boston Marathon had something that motivated them, a single point of focus that drove them to the finish line. That allowed them to battle through pain, cramping and terror. That allowed them to state, again and again despite the awfulness that marred their big day, we are not afraid, we will not back down, we will run again.

And so I ask, what is YOUR motivation? How do you learn from the mindset of these runners? How can you motivate yourself to go further, harder and faster in whatever it is that you do to keep your body moving? How do you become elite in what you strive for?

This isn’t about getting to the gym 3 times a week and bench pressing 200 pounds. Your motivation can be something as simple as saying, ”I want to walk up the stairs without getting winded.” That should be enough to get you to take one step up the staircase. Even knowing that the second step is harder, and the third harder still, we won’t lose sight of the top step. You won’t get there today, but you might get there tomorrow, but only if you lace up your shoes and try again. Nobody made it to mile 26 on the first day. But with every step their feet hit on the sidewalk, you know they could see it in their heads.

To continue the conversation, I offer a free Health Consultation.  Please visit me at or contact me at [email protected]  You can also follow on Facebook or  Twitter.



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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at

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