I got to witness the beginning of something wonderful for about 20 women today as they started their journey to run/walk a 5K with Running Start this September. Running Start is a nonprofit organization, started by Nicole DeBoom, whose mission is to “provide women with barriers to fitness the confidence, courage and community support they need to change their lives through running.” Running Start “pair[s] Beginner Runners – women who have always wanted to start running but have barriers to fitness – with Personal Motivators – women who have found strength, confidence and courage through running and want to pay it forward.” I recently joined the board of Running Start because I understand the power of having a Personal Motivator and how much it can help you stick to your goals, whatever those goals may be.
Although I did not officially participate in the Running Start program as a Beginner Runner, I was extremely fortunate to have my own Personal Motivator in my friend Jessica Rutherford. Had it not been for Jessica, I may never have walked the 7K that sparked my desire to start running, and I have major doubts that I would have stuck with running during that first year when it was SO HARD to run the entire 2.5 mile loop around Wash Park. Without Jessica, who knows whether or not I would have ever done a triathlon, much less signed up for the Boulder Ironman that I miraculously finished 3 weeks ago. (Full disclosure: I got a bit emotional and started tearing up when I was telling this to the group today.)
Knowing there is someone who both believes in you and holds you accountable is priceless. I had a dream to do an Ironman long before I ever started running back in 2013, but it probably would have remained just a dream had I not had that early support of Jessica, my own Personal Motivator, who helped me stick with it in those early days even when it felt like it was impossible to run a mile.