There are things that happen in your fitness career that will stay with you forever. That first time you pull a heavy deadlift. Crossing the finish line at your first 5K. That first trophy. And sometimes, those unforgettable moments are courtesy of the encouragement of others.
See, there have been several people in my life that have made profound impacts on me and my fitness career. Whether that be my trainer, Robby, spending extra hours with me to make sure my form is just right, my incredible husband and his amazing way of calming me down during competitions or my sister’s continued “you can do it” texts.
But there are two people in particular that I wanted to touch on today. Let me explain:
There are two people that I will forever feel indebted to. Two people that through their encouragement, made such an indelible impact on me and my fitness career….and I bet they don’t even know it.
This brings me to today’s subject: be encouraging and helpful to others in the gym and along their fitness route. You never know how much that encouragement will mean to others. And that encouragement karma has a way of coming back around when you need it.
I want to tell you all about these two guys and what you can learn from them.
In 2007, I ran the Derby City Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles – umm, yeah. For anyone that has ever run a marathon, you know that is 26.2 excruciatingly long miles. I was nervous and anxious and scared to death.
My good friend, Chris Marsh, was running the half marathon of that same race (meaning we would run the first 11 miles on the same route.) Knowing how nervous I was, Chris ran all of the first 11 miles with me until he split off to finish the race and I went on to run another 15 miles.
During that first 11 miles, we talked, we laughed we even played 20 questions. He could’ve run the half marathon in a faster time had he run it by himself. But instead, he ran with me, helped me relax and make it through the first half of the race. I’m sure he had no idea that his encouragement would still resonate with me almost 10 years later. Just that simple act of encouragement in a time that I really needed it was, in a word, well, awesome.
The next moment that will forever remain marked as one of those pivotal moments was at the 2015 USS Nationals. I was deadlifting a car (not just any car, but the heaviest damn car I ever imagined lifting…) And, as I strapped in to pull the car, hoping like hell it moved off the ground, Davey McCann was right there in my ear yelling encouragement and coaching at a time that I truly needed every bit I could get. I don’t know if he planned it, or perhaps he was just in the right place at the right time. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. It was a moment that made an imprint on my life.
Now, I tell you those stories for a very important reason: you never know what your encouragement can mean to someone else. A small word, a “go get ‘em,” a pep talk – they may be small to you, but life changing to others.
I’m so incredibly lucky that fate has put all of these amazing people in my path. Chris, Davey, Robby, Stephen, Mandy, heck, the list literally could go on for days. Each of them have encouraged me in big and small ways to help me get to where I am today.
If I could give you a takeaway for today, it’s simply this – encourage one another. Help each other out. Give someone a compliment, cheer them on during their last set on bench, help yell for them during their attempt at a new PR. Because there is going to come a time that you’re going to need that encouragement yourself and you’re going to want that good gym karma on your side.
Keep on encouraging!
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