"You can't wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club."
To me, the greatest compliment someone can pay me is to say I inspired them.
When I started getting serious about running, I got involved in the About.com running forum. Everyone there has these cool race shots for their avatars and I didn't want to be left out so after my first 5K, I proudly put up my running avatar. However, I was a little worried about having this picture when I visited my more regular haunt, the About.com arthritis, forum because I didn't want to rub how well I was doing in the faces of those that were in a bad patch. The fact that I also wanted to let people know that there is life after RA won out. I really felt called to tell people that despite a frightening diagnosis like RA, you can still be healthier, and stronger than ever before.
Recently, I got one of those rare and wonderful compliments. One of the ladies on my arthritis forum told me that my avatar had inspired her to take up running. After many years of battling RA, including being wheel chair bound for a time, she had decided to take control of her health. Through better nutrition, exercise, and determination, she started loosing weight and getting fit, and good health began to return. She told me she would have never thought of running if it hadn't been for my race picture. Wow, what a great feeling! But I know I can't take any credit for her achievements, she went after her inspiration, with the club of determination, to improve her life. She has quickly become and much fast runner than me, despite being a decade older, (you would never know it to look at her,) and 2 decades more experienced with RA, pulling a sub 30 5K that I have only dreamt of!! She has become MY hero!