Women. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, friends, best friends, teachers, mentors, multi-taskers, hopers, achievers, thinkers, and influencers. This was the point made by Brae Blackley, founder of ZOOMA Women’s Race Series at this morning’s kick-off event at the local Annapolis Fleet Feet store. Women have an amazing power to influence and it is one we can harness to help others get active and get healthy. We don’t have to push them, coach them, or beg them, we simply have to lead by example and influence the behavior of others to be the best it can be.
All I need is for a girlfriend to tell me she tried a new shampoo or cereal and it’ll be in my cart the next time I’m at the grocery store. Though I’m not a mother at the moment I have watched the power of female influence at baby showers where one mother suggests a certain stroller, diaper, or swaddle to the mother-to-be and there is no need for further research. She trusts her friend that these are the things she needs, gets them, uses them, and probably suggests to other future mothers to get the same items. I feel fortunate to have an amazing group of friends and if I were to sit back and watch us interact from a distance, it would be obvious that we are constantly, gently influencing each other’s decisions from what books we read to where we eat to how we spend our weekends to the type of exercise we do.
The influence women have over not just other women but potentially everyone they come in contact with is what the organizers of the ZOOMA race series are celebrating in the nationwide events ranging from 5Ks to half marathons. The Annapolis event will be May 31st and this morning’s kick-off was a casual but inspiring get together of motivated runners ranging from first-timers to marathon winners. I attended to see how the race is put together and to get information on volunteering as well as join in the 3-mile fun run around downtown on an ideal Saturday morning.
Meeting women who are just as passionate about running and active lifestyles as I am left me with more of a runner’s high than I have ever experienced. Being around these women offers a surge of energy that I find empowering. I don’t want to just want to go running–I want to tell people about it, ask them to join me, have them bring their friends. There is no doubt in my mind that women are influencers, and the opportunity that being a woman, and being a runner presents is pretty incredible when you consider that your influence will lead others to healthier lifestyles.
The running community can never be too big. So go ahead, tell others you’re a runner. With the right influence, they’ll join us.