You may get the impression that this blog might have something to do with the Beatles.
If you do, you don’t know me.
If you know me, you know how I feel about the Beatles.
I respect them. Really, I do.
I totally respect the fact they are perhaps the most influential rock band of all time. They were innovators and influenced countless bands which followed. I happily acknowledge the genius of John Lennon & Paul McCartney. I know people who are Beatles fanatics, who, 60 years after they got broken up by, evidently, a sort of odd, slightly musical chick, still deeply love everything Beatles. I’m aware of the beatification of the Beatles by many, truly I am.
Just don’t make me listen to their music….
…but I digress…
But what I want to talk about today is being open to help in achieving your wellness goals.
If you’re anything like me, you can be a little independent, from time to time.
This is called an understatement.
But even I, Mr. “I can & will do it on my own. I’d rather not hear your ideas on how I could do it better, or more efficiently, especially if it involves relying on another person or persons” ( long name, huh?) know how much support can help. Prime example;
I was running my 2nd full marathon ( 26.2 miles, in case you’re not a runner dude or dudette), at the San Diego Rock & Roll marathon in 2008. I was at mile 18, which for me is the toughest part of a full. You’ve run a long dang way, but you’ve still got 8 freaking miles left. And I was done. Done, exhausted, drained both physically, mentally & spiritually. I had run a competitive half marathon the week before, which was a serious tactical mistake. I was hanging on by the proverbial thread, searching for any reason to keep moving forward.
You get it. I was tired.
Then, suddenly, I hear “ You go Bob Tully!”
I raise my head up and there, amongst the crowd, is local running coach / race organizer who I had worked with on a different race (The Orange Co marathon, if you must know). He gives me a thumbs up, a clap or two, and I’m past him.
But he stayed with me.
Those 4 words, that brief gesture of faith & encouragement, carried me through the next 8 miles. Was I still tired? Of course. But my spirits were lifted, my self confidence boosted, my fortitude fortified. Don’t get it twisted, I was a mess at the end. But Bill’s (that was his name, Bill) act of encouragement meant the world to me.
I’m bringing it up now because of a few current examples of friends benefitting from the support of others. The first example is really simple. I’ve got 2 good friends who recently joined Weight Watchers. When I lost all of my weight, I did it without a support group, but I’m lucky in that I stumbled onto a method that worked for me, and continues to 30 years later. But both of my friends have lost a considerable amount of weight and are genuinely thrilled with their results. Because of support. From others.
The other example that has pushed me toward this blog subject is the accomplishments of a good friend of mine who lives in Derry, Northern Ireland. I am a member of a running club based in Derry, Star Running Club. How did a dude from Los Angeles get to join a club in Northern Ireland? That’s a story for another day. Suffice to say that these people are amazingly friendly, inclusive, hospitable and that I love them.
But one member of the club, named Seamus ( I’m not gonna use full names because I’m not presuming that they want the publicity). Well Seamus was just about to complete 1000 consecutive days of running.
1000 days. Seriously. I still can’t comprehend 1000 straight days, though this is the same guy who wanted me to come over and join him and some of the other Stars in running a marathon a day for 4 days. My response to that was, and will continue to be, “No but hells no!”. But that is the mindset we are dealing with here.
Well Seamus decided that the best way to complete his 1000 days was to run 100 miles in a 24 hr. period. As part of this stunt he raised money to benefit a great local cause. His buddy Stephen, who usually does collaborate with Seamus on his craziest ideas, decided to join him for this 24 hour, 100 mile escapade. And they did it, of course. There was a video of Seamus stepping up on a curb to pose with a poster to commemorate the event, and watching him try to step back off the curb reminded me of every post marathon attempt to sit or stand, but times, well, about 4. ( 26.2 X 4 = 104.8. Close enough)
Crazy impressive, in and of itself. But here’s what struck me and inspired this blog. Most of the Stars are on the Strava fitness app. On Strava, and most other fitness apps, you can see other people’s runs, walks, bikes, whatever. And during the 24 hours that Seamus & Stephen were running, I saw countless posts from other Stars….
“ Ran 10k at 3pm with Seamus & Stephen”
“ Ran 6k at 3am with Seamy”
“ Ran 5 miles with the boys”
…and so on and so forth.
I haven’t connected with Seamus or Stephen yet, but I will bet you anything you wanna bet that those fellow club members and friends carried them through some dark patches, both literally and metaphorically. I’m crazy impressed with the boys, but I’m also impressed with all of the folks who ran with them, brought them refreshments, cheered them on, etc.
So what I took away from this episode was a reminder of the power of positive reinforcement. How much it can mean to get an encouraging word or support in accomplishing goals. And also that it’s not weakness to ask for or seek help. You’d be surprised how many people actually want you to succeed, and will help you down that road. They’re anxious to give you advice, support of maybe just wanna hold your hand.
Beatles, again. Hmm