I’m fairly new long distance running. After losing 50 pounds last year, I decided to run the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon and completed it in October of last year. Less than two weeks ago, I ran the Disney Princess Half-Marathon and in a mere three weeks I will be running the NYC 13.1 half-marathon. One might say that I’ve been bitten by the running bug. I’ll say that I need goals to stay focused on my health and exercise and even with goals it doesn’t always work. That is why I look to elite athletes for inspiration. Although I know I will never complete a full-marathon in less than three hours (who are we kidding, less than four or even five) I am motivated by the determination, power and strength exuded by women that are elite runners.
One such woman is Arizona runner Sally Meyerhoff.
Sally was a lifelong runner, and her most recent accomplishment was winning the PF Chang Rock & Roll marathon in Arizona on January 17th this year. She is the first woman to ever win this race. Sadly, earlier this week at the age of 27, Sally’s life was cut short when she was killed in a bicycle accident. Despite her untimely death, in her young life Sally accomplished many great things. In short, she is a woman of substance because:
- Sally was considered one of America’s top 10 marathon runners.
- Sally was a seven-time state high school track and field champion in the 1600 and 3200 meters.
- She was a graduate of Duke University, where she was a NCAA All-American in cross country in 2004 and in track in 2006.
- Sally qualified for the marathon Olympic trials in 2008 and qualified again this year. She was in training for the trials when she met her untimely death.
Finally, I will use Sally’s own words to illustrate why she is a woman of substance. Although this advice was directed at young girls, it provides me (and I’m sure many other women -- and men) with inspiration:
I’ve had lots of ups and downs where I’ve thought that I might need to quit this sport. There will be times where you’ll hit very big lows. You just have to look at the big picture and set goals for yourself and keep those in mind. And then I think it helps to set small goals along the way. Sometimes I think about my long-term goals, like getting sponsors and becoming a professional, and I think "oh my gosh, that seems a long way off." So I just remind myself to take it week by week and goal by goal. If you’re not setting goals, I don’t think that you’re going to feel like you’re accomplishing much. What makes the sport fun is when you set small goals and accomplish those and see your progress over time. I think that inspires people and makes them happier.(excerpt from Interview by Joe English)
Sally Meyerhoff, a true woman of substance.
Renee is the author Cutie Booty Cakes
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