Meet Jeff Sherman.
Jeff is my friend, work colleague and a trusted running partner.
He started running with me simply because he didn’t like that I was running alone in the dark, early morning. He doesn’t consider himself a runner. (He is.) The first run or two (or 10) were a true testament of our friendship. Let’s just say that he wasn’t a big fan of running and he found ways to express his opinion using creative language. 🙂
We have run together a ton this past year. Jeff has patiently taken the time to teach me a few important life skills. Among the most useful skills for running? Snot rockets and spitting WITH the wind. (There is at least one other thing you should do WITH the wind as well…) 🙂
He’s like the brother I never had and have ALWAYS wanted. He tells me the truth, even when I really don’t want to hear it. He always helps me out and only sometimes does it include a lecture.
He is also one of a very small handful of people who knew me at my heaviest and who RUNS with me now. He has seen the transformation over the years. He knew me as a full-blown diabetic. He knows how hard I have worked – first to manage the disease and then finally to reverse it. He’s heard the questions I get asked, the comments that get made. He has seen me when I am struggling to learn something new. And he has been there at more than a few finish lines/special life moments where I was on top of the WORLD!
Take it away Jeff…
When Betsy said, “would you write a blog?” My first comment was sarcastic…
‘My thoughts already work like a blog— words in disarray with pictures. PERFECT!’
The truth is—this is harder than it looks, but I am so proud of Betsy for putting her journey out to the world. So, of course I am so excited to contribute.
And, it’s a blog—so obviously the grammar is not perfect and my ideas are not based on research! I love this.
For context, a few points about our friendship, because I hear all the time, “You know Betsy Hartley?:
- I do know Betsy! She began working in higher education when I began as a true freshman in College (2005).
- She can (and will) talk me into anything. See #3.
- I did not like running when I began RUNNING with Betsy. We have been running together for a year.
- She is my inspiration for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook on life.
Betsy and I (and the friends/family around us) are genuinely happy people. We know that everyone has baggage and crap, but I am specifically going to write about the things we do to keep the positivity flowing:
- Smile and laugh. A lot.
Smiling is easy (flex those cheeks… 🙂 ) and laughter is CONTAGIOUS. Notice the picture below? We laugh all the time.
So much so that we are avoided by one particular person at the gym who can’t stand happy people. (If I was typing on my iPhone I would add a shrugging emoji icon).
No matter where we have been in our life journeys, fitness, other struggles, etc. The smiles are the genuine.
Smile more. Just try it. 🙂
2. Be awesome and find the awesome in others
Betsy is awesome for MANY reasons. But, I think the most central awesomeness component, is that she genuinely cares about people.
I will give an example: newcomers in the gym generally feel overwhelmed, especially if they are alone (see point 4), she will be the person who goes out of her way to introduce herself, smile, and learn the person’s name.
An upcoming blog from Betsy will have more about her journey in the gym.
It costs nothing to be nice to people.
- Try to avoid comparing your journey with someone else’s. (Or, in Betsy language: eat your own damn elephant).
Once I realized I would never be a six foot tall Men’s Health Magazine Cover model, it made working out more fun. And, there is a whole lot less pressure.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” –Betsy Hartley
- Find an activity AND PEOPLE you like – get moving!
Honestly, being active with friends is the most fun for me.
Like I said before, Betsy is my motivation to stay active, and she keeps me accountable. Find friends like that.
Also, if you are newer to fitness: I have found the buddy system makes me more relaxed in the gym, feel safer trail-running (especially in the dark-ass mornings that Betsy runs), and provide a supportive environment to ask the tough questions about life in general.
Hopefully, this short little extroverted ramble was helpful for someone.
In closing: smile more, sit less, encourage others, and find great people to be active with!