Saturday, March 12, 2011
I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet, run with (and get to know) some amazing and inspiring people since I got into this whole ultra-running thing. Some of those folks have become my closest of friends. Many of them, for one reason or another, have provided a certain "infusion of motivation" into my life, whether it be because of their accomplishments/triumphs/tragedies, or perhaps their unyielding dedication to a goal (no matter how big or small).
I met one such person today on a long run at Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It is funny, I am "friends" with this guy on Facebook, and he is the brother-in-law of someone who has become one of my closest running friends, but I'd never talked to him, met him, or really focused on his "story" before today. In fact, we joked briefly about how we were "Facebook Friends" and now that we met we can actually pay attention to what each other posts on line. Heck, I can't even pronounce his name...you try saying Iman Poeraatmadja without fucking it up. Say it three times correctly and you get a prize.
So, anyway, yeah, as I was saying, here's a guy that is motivated to make positive changes in his life through fitness. For most of his life he was in good shape, an "athlete/partier" as he describes himself on his site. In his 40's, he opted for more of the "party" side, and his fitness decreased. He saw this as being a bad recipe for a long life, and a terrible example for his son. He joins a gym and weighs in at 5 feet, six inches and 248 pounds. Today he is down over 40 pounds and has set a goal to be "fit at fifty (hence, the title of his blog, Fit at Fifty - The Last Leg). His site is a "conversation about [his] quest to be fit by the time [he] turns 50 on June 19, 2011...but more importantly, how we can interact to help each other with similar goals."
I ran a bit with Iman today and loved it. He showed up with a smile, ran with a smile and left with a smile (the leaving smile, I'm sure, was more due to the cold beer waiting for him back at Eric's house). He told me how it was at 40 that he started to fall out of shape - "it's all downhill at 40," he said. Great, I just turned 40 two weeks ago. Inspired to NOT head downhill at 40, I ran 21 miles fairly hilly miles today:
I love meeting people like Iman - down to earth, funny, good-spirited...just generally a nice guy. Sometimes, in my own life, I wish I could be more like him...I suppose that is exactly what providing inspiration is all about.