For as long as I can recall (years before I became a health coach), I’ve tried to get my (now) husband to be just a little bit healthier. More exercise…less beer…And Oh, do we really need that second pizza? But one thing I’ve learned over the years about supporting a loved one with their health is that they have to really dig deep and want to make changes on their own. Everyone’s history, circumstances, preferences, obstacles and motivators are different, and going on that journey to figure it all out truly is worth it. You may know that already, but the other person needs to see that for themselves.
Passive-aggressive comments — albeit well-intended — do not work. Guilt doesn’t work. Bribery doesn’t work. Usually. Making a cinnamon-quinoa bake and passing it off as dessert sure as heck doesn’t work either. Nope. You simply need to lead by example, be supportive, ask questions, but detach emotionally when you need to. Just be there.
Well, fast forward 8.5 years and that man I met at the Sunburnt Cow (RIP) all those years ago is running in his first marathon. The New York City Marathon! 26.2 miles through the five boroughs. Amazing. And the best part is, he came to this incredible achievement all on his own.
Oh no, I didn’t run the race…are you kidding me?! I was cheering on the sidelines, suited up in my running gear — feeling cozy in my new favorite cold-weather top by Tasc Performance — ready to hop in the race with Luke at Mile 17. As I prepared for his arrival down First Avenue, I got a don’t you dare look from two cops when I tried to shimmy my way through the crowds and duck underneath the tape that was blocking off the street. Apparently they were writing tickets like crazy for people who had the same idea, so I sat this one out and carried on with my cheerleading duties.
I started bawling my eyes out when Luke passed me at 81th st, and everyone around us snapped photos to capture the moment. I’m pretty sure I was acting like a lunatic, but I was just so overcome with emotions and pride when I saw my honey out there doing so well. I saw him again entering Central Park at 90th st and got a group of little Korean ladies to chant “Let’s go, Luke! Let’s go, Luke!” with me. It was pretty hilarious and I think it was just the motivation he needed to carry out those final miles.
The biggest takeaway from this experience is a simple one: Don’t give up. Whatever your goals or struggles are, just believe that the fight is worth it. You can come out the other side and cross that finish line. The circumstances won’t be perfect…timing will never be quite right…but just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can do it.
Any other marathon runners or cheerleaders out there? What are your fitness goals? I’m definitely inspired to tackle a few new ones now!