Guest Blogger Isabella: Your actions can motivate and support another person to accomplish something great!

By Isabella

Last weekend I ran my first 5K. I’m not sure what inspired me to try, since I could barely run a mile in high school. I think it was a combination of things, really.  My husband “Paul” ran his first race last year at age 34—a 25K—after months of training; I read a blog that the Smiling Daffodil had written about running a 5K; and I’ve been wanting to exercise to get in better shape and have more energy.  So, I shared this idea with my husband and we decided we would run a 5K together this year.  I started training months ago using the “Couch to 5K” program, but due to time constraints, injuries, and sickness, I hadn’t progressed beyond the first two weeks.

A few months ago, Paul told me about a race that was sponsored by his company.  We decided to sign up for that race, even though it would take place only 4 weeks after we returned from a 2-week vacation.  I didn’t realize at the time that the Couch to 5K was a 9-wk program, so I had to work a little harder than I thought, but my husband trained with me.  He usually ran with me after he had already worked 8 hours out in the sun—mowing, tilling the garden, splitting firewood, etc.  He kept me on target, encouraged me, and slowed to my pace (even though we both could’ve walked faster than my jogging pace J).   I slowly but surely improved in my endurance and speed.

The day of the race, as we registered, I began to feel very self-conscious.  I certainly looked like I belonged with the volunteers rather than the runners.  According to last year’s results, I knew I would be coming in near last place, but I tried to focus on the goals I had set for myself.  My first goal was to run the entire race (“run” is used loosely here—I mean I didn’t want to walk any of it).  My second goal was to finish in under 45 minutes.

As we approached Paul’s coworkers who were also there to run, I felt even more grateful for my husband.  He was willing to come in last place in front of his peers in order to help me to achieve my goal.  Had he trained for himself, he probably would’ve run it in about 20 minutes.  I told him he could run at his own speed, but he said he was there for me.  During the race he calmed my nerves, carried a water bottle for me, checked on how I was feeling, encouraged me, and challenged me to do more when he thought I could. During the third mile, I was especially glad he had chosen to stick with me.

We kept a steady pace and gradually passed quite a few people.  As the finish line approached, I gathered speed and heard them announce our names.  As I crossed the finish line, I was smiling.  I had run the race and finished in less than 41 minutes.

The principle I used is from Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Do the very best you can.

The principles my husband used are from Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 4.  Become genuinely interested in other people.
Principle 9.  Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
Principle 17.  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Also from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Create happiness for others.

I was so glad Paul was there to support me and share my joy.  I did my best and was rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment.  Now I’ve got my sights set on improving my time for next year’s race.

Smiling Daffodil’s Notes:
The lesson in this story:  Your actions can help motivate and support another person to accomplish something great!

365+ Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles By The Smiling Daffodil


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