I’m running because if I don’t get outside and move fast down the street and through the trees, under the sky and in the rain or the cold or the sun, my animal self will be lost. And that’s the part of the brain, paradoxically, that keeps you sane.Creating runners is one of the greatest joys of my life. The knowledge that there are people out there who have had the experience of using their bodies in this fundamental way because of me has cheered me even while I was in the depths.
And the testimonials … I eat them up, even if I don’t always respond to them directly.
Testimonials like Jo’s above, and like these:
I just wanted to thank you. I first found you and read your posts about running about 3 years ago, when my youngest child was 6 months old. I started running about 2.5 years ago, very slowly, thank you! And I’ve kept it up, increasing speed and distance, and ran my first half marathon last weekend. Thank you so much! I started (~44!) just because it was quick – I could leave the house for just half an hour, and get in a good workout. But I’ve grown to appreciate the space it provides me, as well as the sense of accomplishment I have afterwards. I have a running partner as well, and she has become a good friend – another perk. – Michelle
I just wanted to credit you – I started running back in the day after reading your “maggot” posts. On 10/10/10 I ran the Chicago marathon. It’s all your fault ;) – Bobbi
I wanted to let you know what an inspiration you have been to me since I came across your blog in late 2007. I was never a runner and was one of those people who said, “oh, I CAN’T run.” Well, I am proud to say that I completed my first marathon last weekend! Thank you so much for all of your advice! I have referred so many people to your blog whenever they say “oh, I could never run like you are.” Thanks again! – Sarah
When you wrote your first few blog posts about how anybody can run, I was in a stressful job, a mom to one, and a wife to boot. I read the posts with interest but just really could not find the time. In all honesty I didn’t think I could possibly run. Slight jog maybe, fast walk more like it. I revisited your blog posts and read them a few times. I thought, “well, I’ll start off slow, embarrassingly slow, like Dr. M says.” And so it began. I have now run two 5k’s, completed my sprint tri, and I am signed up for a 6.66 mile Devil Run on Halloween. – Hdh500
Four years later ... just want to say thanks. I’ve been working on “a new me” for the last 6 months or so; dropped a lot of weight, started exercising (mostly speed walking daily — about 5-6 miles/day) and really wanted to up the ante; tried running, but couldn’t do much more than 1/2 mile on a REALLY good day. I read your blog yesterday, and was able to run 2.5 miles yesterday following your advice to slow down. What a difference that made on my lungs! Thanks for the tips. I think you’ve made yet another convert. – EW
I commented a couple times in the past year or two to thank you, but I just wanted to thank you again. Using your “go slow” technique I got to running three miles regularly. Then I had a sort of breakthrough and now I’m running 4.5 miles every other day, like clockwork. Today I ran five! And my time is even improving. I used to run 12-minute miles and now I’m closing in on 11. Thank you thank you thank you. Also, my biggest motivation? I’m sorry to be so shallow, but that photo of your abs on the beach. I’ve had two kids, it’s hard on the body, I’ve never had a lot of physical self-esteem anyway. Running makes me feel a lot better about my body. – Laurel.. and these are just some of the recent ones.
The funniest ones start out something like “I always rolled my eyes and snorted when you put up a maggot post, but ...” If you’re not yet a convert, but you’re still reading this post—well, you just may be next. And I will be cackling with glee.