the edge of a shamrock


(This picture by George McFinnigan is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Used with permission.)

A “shamrock” is green leafy plant with heart shaped petals usually from the clover family.  It is considered the national emblem of Ireland.

I ran the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle this weekend in Chicago.

It is a 8K (4.97 miles) road race that traditionally kicks off the running season in Chicago.

I ran the race with about 35,000 other runners.  It is one of the largest 8K running races in the world.

After the miserable winter we had this year around Chicago, a huge number of runners were enthusiastic about running and racing outside again.

All of us belong to some kind of group.  The groups are the “tribes” we belong to.

Our tribes include our “peeps,” the people we relate to and associate with.

Our tribes include family, friends, religious, social, soul growth, sports, etc..

One of my tribes is runners.  I understand and relate to runners.

I have been running at least six days a week since I was in high school.

During the Shamrock Shuffle I was running with a sore foot.  Nothing serious, just a bad step off my treadmill having to run inside all winter.

My foot was really bothering me at about the 2 mile mark.  My pace was starting to slow because of my foot.

I realized that I had to be mentally tough to meet the finish time goal I had set for myself for the race even though my foot hurt.

So I accelerated and kept my desired pace all the way to the end of the race.

When I finished, the race, two twenty-something year old female runners came up to me and said hello.

They indicated that I was their “inspiration” during the race.

I was surprised, so I asked them what they meant.

They explained that they were struggling and when they saw me accelerate, they decided to follow me because of the look of determination I had on my face.

They ran right behind me all the way to the finish line and their finishing time was much faster than they anticipated for their first race of the year.

This interaction reminded me of my first blog post when my daughter and I observed physically challenged tri-athletes from the Dare2Tri organization (www.dare2tri.org) training for their next event.

The Dare2Tri motto is “one inspires many.”

I had inspired two young runners just participating in the race.

What are the edges of your inspiration in the tribe or tribes your belong to?

Who can you inspire in your tribe just being you?  Just doing the things you normally do?

Whose heart can you touch with your own shamrock?

What one action can you take or what one thing can you say today that will inspire “many” members of your tribe?

Out There on the Edge of Everything…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD