In the Presence of Greatness

by Stephanie on September 24, 2011 · 0 comments

in Inspiration, Running

Today was a good day!

Today was the expo for the Quad City Marathon, which I’m running as leg #2 of a 5-person relay.  I knew that Bart Yasso was going to be the featured speaker at the pasta dinner tonight and was excited to go to that.  It didn’t occur to me (don’t ask me why!) that he’d be hanging around the expo too.  After picking up packets for the group I saw him and went over to say hi.

We chatted about my hometown and he told me he rode through it during one of his cross-country bike rides back in the early 90’s.  How cool is that?  It’s a small town and most people haven’t heard of it (unless maybe you were a Chicago Bears fan back in the day).  Turns out he’s a fan of Wisconsin.  I’m liking this guy more and more! :)

It was super exciting to meet Bart.  He was kind and genuine and I was absolutely giddy when I walked away with my signed book.  Also, I’m in love with that picture with him.  Isn’t that a great shot?  It’s a keeper for sure!

So of course after this meeting I definitely wasn’t going to miss the pasta dinner.  Turns out I was in for a treat.  In addition to Bart Yasso, we also got to hear from Arturo Barrios!  This guy held the world record in the 10k (27:08:23) from 1989 to 1993 and was the first person to ever run the half marathon distance in under 1 hour.  That’s an impressive guy!

Here’s Arturo, with Bart in the background (sorry about picture quality here… I was sitting too far away for good phone camera shots!).

It was so great to hear the stories both Arturo and Bart had to share.  Their experiences and accomplishments are amazing.  Being new to the sport of running, it is so inspiring to listen to them and all that running has allowed them to do.  Races at Kilimanjaro, Everest, and Antarctica… how cool is that?  And they are funny!

I needed this.  A night of inspiration.  I’m so hard on myself sometimes.  I criticize myself for being too slow when the fact that I can run 13.1 miles (or 4!) is such a far cry from where I was a year ago.  Despite my impatience, I’ve got plenty of time to improve and reach my goals.  And running can give me new places, new experiences, and introduce me to fantastic new people no matter how fast or slow I am.

Sometimes being in the presence of greatness is all it takes to gain a little perspective.

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