Hey you, overweight runner


Hey, you. On the side of the road. Feeling all fat and bloated. But trying to run anyway, even though you think you look awkward.

You’re my hero today.

I have no idea who you are. But seeing you just now as I drive by all comfy and clean, I have the urge to park my car, stand in the grass, and give you high fives.

I’m not sure why . . . .

Maybe because I see the sweat slinging off you and that pumps me up.
Maybe because I remember how hard it is to make my feet go when they want to stop.
Maybe because I’ve been encouraged by sideliners before and know the difference they can make.

So though I’m not interrupting your run to tell you, I am thanking God for you.

Because you’re out there making a difference. Not only for yourself. But for your family. For your friends.

And even for strangers like me who applaud your 4 mph pace out of the corner of my 60 mph machine.

Because when one of us sees another of us doing a hard thing, the other of us is encouraged to do a hard thing, too.

I may not go run this afternoon, but I might cook a better meal, or make a hospital visit, or, well, write a blog post about an overweight runner being my hero.

So stranger, I say press on!

You may or may not get skinny from your running. But you will get stronger.

And God used you today to make me stronger, too. I thank him—and you—for that.

* * *

Who has inspired you to push harder lately just because they did?

27 thoughts on “Hey you, overweight runner

  1. Beth

    First of all, I love your new web design, Lisa! I’m going to be changing mine in July, so this gets me excited about the possibilities!

    There’s so much in this post that I love. But one thing was your encouragement, “You may or may not get skinny from your running. But you will get stronger.” I so resonate with this! I can’t run because of a bad knee injury I have, but I do think doing the “right things” for ourselves–the hard things we often want to avoid–does make us stronger and better people. So I’m pulling over with you and cheering that runner on as well! 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It has been fun (and okay, frustrating too) to change sites. 🙂 But I think in the end it will be a good thing with more possibilities. Time will tell. I’ll be watching for your new design!

      I’m with you on the knee problems. I helped out at a 5K a few weekends ago, and it was discouraging to have no choice but to be on the sidelines (well, I could have walked it). But I did find it surprisingly fun to be the one cheering others on and knowing the difference it can make.

      Thanks for all the times you’ve cheered me on, Beth! You’re a great encourager to many.

  2. Barbara H.

    Welcome to your new home! 🙂

    I’ve thought that, too, when I see someone overweight exercising, that at least they’re doing something. I haven’t taken that to the next step of doing something myself, but should. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “at least they’re doing something”
      Yeah, I think that’s key. Anything is better than nothing, right? At least that’s what I tell myself when I do my piddly little workouts. 🙂

  3. laura

    I love how clean and fresh it feels here, Lisa! And I’ve had these same thoughts about the one struggling on the roadside. We all start somewhere and a bit of encouragement never hurts. I’ve thought the same thing about elderly people that I see out there jogging. I hope I am so motivated. This is what I love about you, lady–you are always growing and always cheering others on in their growth.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad it feels “clean and fresh” to you, Laura. That’s one thing I’m going for!

      Yes, seeing older people still keeping at it is always encouraging. I wish I’d be encouraged to eat healthier at the same time. 😉 That’s a toughie for me.

  4. Mia

    Dear Lisa
    Physical fitness, strength and stamina are only the result of hard work and quite a few visits to the gymnasium! In the same way, we need to practice our reliance, faith and trust in our Lord Jesus over and over and over again. Each time becomes a bit easier than the previous until it becomes as natural as breathing.
    Much love XX

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      We definitely need to exercise our “trust” muscle over and over to build it stronger. A great analogy, Mia. I do want it to be as “natural as breathing.”

  5. floyd

    I’m with you. If someone is trying, I’m cheering them on. It is the difficult things in life that deserve encouragement. Like changing blog locations too! Congrats, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, thank you for that, Floyd. Changing blog locations was a hard decision and hasn’t gone as smoothly as I would like (should that ever be a surprise? ha). But hopefully it will prove to be a good decision down the road.

  6. christina

    Congratulations on the new blog home! It looks great.

    I’ve had similar thoughts the last week going to the pool with my parents and seeing folks twice my age (some overweight, some not) completely outworking me. They are an inspiration.

    Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      On a somewhat related note, when I see overweight people at the pool or beach still wearing their swimsuits and enjoying themselves, I’m inspired to let go of more of my own pride and just live life to the fullest, just as I am. So many lessons we can learn from each other! Blessings to you too, friend.

  7. Amelia Rhodes

    I love this! I’m a fairly new runner, and in my town when I run, I get at least one friendly honk and wave every time I’m out. It makes me pick up my pace! How great when we can encourage each other to keep going in the race of life and of our faith.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How encouraging to get those honks and waves. Of course they may also be because you look good. 🙂 Nonetheless, the point is the same: we do pick up our pace when others cheer us on. Thanks for stopping by and doing that for me.

  8. Jenn Hand

    Loved this post. Thanks for the reminder.. encouraging truths about how we can encourage others without even knowing it simply by going for it! great webpage to! sounds like it is a new look from what others are saying.. congrats. looks great.
    Visted from SDG

  9. Dianna

    Oh my goodness, Lisa! I love your new site! The appearance is so different from before, but it still has “Lisa” written all over it…that is Lisa as in the servant of the Most High. I gave testimony at church just this past Sunday about some of the different people God has allowed to touch my life as they are going through MAJOR trials and yet are praising God through it all and how it does the very thing you have talked about here…STRENGTHENED me in my own faith and trust in Him. It’s His character trait of faithfulness I see in all of these folks in my life right now that He uses to draw me closer to Himself.

    Love you, Sister!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you, Dianna, for your sweet words, always. I’ve had fun playing around in WordPress but would like to spend a whole lot more time with it.

      Sure wish I could have heard you give that testimony! Was it recorded by any chance? I’m certain you were a great encouragement to all who heard you and were a straight arrow pointing to the glory of our God. Love you much!

  10. Nancy Franson

    Wow! Look at your new place! Good work 🙂
    And–I love this. Giving thanks to someone/for someone who inspired you, just because they tried to do something hard. Makes me wonder who I need to pay attention to around me. Makes me wonder who is watching me.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Both your “wonders” are good for me today–to see who around me I need to pay attention to, and who may be watching me. Yikes. I’m far more comfortable with the former than the latter, but we do need to be aware of both situations. Thanks, Nancy!

  11. Nikole Hahn

    Oh, you’ll lose weight running as long as you watch what you eat. It’s easy to eat too much thinking the running will burn those calories. I love running. I’m still 20 something pounds overweight, but I am confident in keeping up the struggle to lose it because I just can’t give up a challenge. Running feels so freeing. It’s a challenge and I feel so good afterwards. It’s the greatest solution to those fat days. Just go for a run! :o)

    1. Lisa notes...

      You go, girl! So proud of you for running and losing weight. You’re right that it’s not all about the exercise; if the intake exceeds the output, we’ll still gain.

      Even though I never *loved* running, I did love being outdoors and the freedom I felt with it, so I relate to that. Your enthusiasm makes me miss it a little. 🙂 Keep it up, Nikole!

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