Finding Your Inspiration

Monday, 14 February 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Runners are not too different from surfers; we experience our runner’s highs and lows riding through undulating waves of emotions arising from met goals to false expectations. Most often, we’re on the crest of our running career training for a dream marathon, breaking PR’s, or reaching distances once inconceivable. But, there are times when we hit a trough—an injury that never goes away, burnout, or boredom—and it feels like a bottomless pit that, if not managed properly, can drag you down into a sea of sorrow and, sadly, flabby muscles and additional poundage.

I found myself in that pit a couple of months ago. For a while, I didn’t want to climb out of it, but, fortunately for me, I found gentle reminders of running—a person, a picture, or a memory—that yanked me out of that black hole and gave me inspiration to run with passion again.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share with you some of the people and things that inspired me to lace up—either for a gym workout or an LSD—and got me to fall in love with running again:

LEA SALONGA. Yup, that’s right! One morning, I was scheduled for a workout but I was too lazy to even get my run apparel on. Ready to head out the door in jeans and a top, I quickly browsed through the morning papers and chanced upon Lea Salonga’s column about getting back into training. I ran back upstairs, changed into my running clothes, and I found myself running on the treadmill that same morning. Just goes to show you don’t need a runner or a super athlete to get you back out there. Pick up a good book, surf the web, browse through blogs to find your inspiration from other people’s words.

ISIDRO VILDOSOLA. Nothing stops Sid from grabbing podium finishes, not even a missing limb. I met him a couple of years back at various runs and I get the chance to chat with him once in a while. He’s a humble guy with a lot of achievements. Couple of weeks ago, I bumped into him at Ultra Track Oval and he proudly showed off the Silver Medal he won at the Asian Paralympics. Congratulations Sid! You’re an inspiration!

– with Sid and the nicest medal I have ever seen –

– Spread of Asian Para Games Daily –

– Sid bags Silver for the Philippines in Men’s 1500. Missed Gold by a split second –

* JEFF GALLOWAY. I don’t know exactly how many people all over the world Jeff Galloway has inspired through his books and coaching, but I am definitely one among the hundreds and thousands. I was lucky enough to be in his presence while he was in Manila for several days.  While he gave words of wisdom on running during talks and workshops, it was during our downtime—over meals, on the way to our hotel in Cebu, or while we were running—that I was completely and utterly inspired by him. He would talk about his experiences with Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, and Bill Bowerman and he made them real and human to me—not the legends that I only read about in Runner’s World and books. He told us countless tales about his running when he was younger and anecdotes about other runners. He and his wife, Barb, are prime examples to me of real runners of character who unselfishly want to spread the love for running.

– Jeff gave this to us while we were in Cebu. We couldn’t stop staring at it.  Photos above show him running along with Prefontaine. The business card is a copy of Pre’s card when he worked for Blue Ribbon Sports which later became Nike –

* TBR DREAM MARATHONERS. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: my favorite part of TBR Dream Marathon is getting to know the runners who signed up for the race. While others would hate to run at the back of the pack, I embrace the responsibility with open arms during our Bull Sessions. As sweeper, it is almost a gift to run with those coming in last because you’re a witness to the struggles as they push their bodies to the edge and, at the same time, you see them grow before your eyes—from weak to strong, from sedentary to long distance runner, from insecure to confident. I’ve met a runner who battled cancer, a dad who’s restarted running, and many more. We start the run as strangers and end as good friends who inspire each other to achieve new heights.

So, who’s your inspiration today?  Happy Valentine’s Day!