Sometimes, motivation is found in the most unlikely of places. When I woke up this morning and looked at my phone I wasn’t exactly thrilled. My weather app informed me it was 42 degrees and lightly raining. Not ideal conditions for the longest run of my life. So I did what any determined runner would do…I took my sweet time to find the right clothes to wear in the elements. As I was spreading the peanut butter on my bread for my pre run meal I was craving something else. Motivation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t finding any. I forced myself out the door to simply get it over with.

As Bruno Mars started singing “24K Magic” in my earbuds, I started searching for some 14 mile magic. Little did I know the motivation I needed was at the end of my street. The Weatherford National Guard Armory is located in very close proximity to my house and they were having a training day. As I watched the men and women wearing their Army gear performing difficult drills I realized the simplicity of my goal. I’m not Army Strong…but I admire those who have served in any branch of our military. These brave men and women put their lives on the line in the most extreme of circumstances for our country. That makes running any distance at a steady pace seem petty.

Being a professional storyteller this experience served as another reminder. Sometimes, working in school PR, you have days where you search for the next big story. So, you do the usual steps of browsing through campus Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and school calendars looking for the perfect story. Instead of sitting around looking…go out and find it. Some of my best ideas for video commercials and feature stories have come from simply driving to a campus and observing. Maybe you see a crossing guard going the extra mile to assist a student. Maybe it’s a student carrying in a world-class project. Finding amazing stories in public schools is like finding a good dog that needs a home at the humane society…all you have to do is show up.

I finished my 14 mile run at my goal pace and even had energy to hang up our Christmas lights! Thanks to the members of the National Guard for giving me the motivation and reminder that I needed.