Posted by: forgingahead | October 14, 2008

The Ripple Effect of Health

There’s this thing that’s been happening. A little bit at a time and randomly. I take note, then forget about it. But this morning on my bike ride I pondered the phenomenon for a while. Bike rides are good for that.

It’s the ripple effect that my steadily improving state of health is having on those around me.

First of all it started happening like this…I’d giddily confide in a friend or family member that I’d signed up for this crazy triathlon thing. And out of the woodwork these people, nearly 100% of them, would share a story of a physical feat they’d attempted at some time.

It wasn’t competitive storytelling…it was more along the lines of “hey, we can totally connect on this front because I’ve been there too!” I love hearing the stories and gain confidence from then.

At this point I wasn’t looking terribly athletic myself and my recent history of athleticism (20+ years) was sorely lacking. So my story of doing a triathlon lacked, shall we say, the ring of truth.

But then as I lost more weight and things started *shifting* around I noticed a new trend. Those near and dear to me were starting to pick up the pace too! Joell started running. My mom started doing water aerobics. Michelle started walk/running more.

I pondered this on my bike ride and felt all warm and fuzzy that there’s this cloud of health following me around like the dirt cloud that follows Pigpen.

And it works both ways. When Sarah talks about pushing it to the limit on a run or swim or bike she inspires me to do the same when times get tough.

I looked up Ripple Effect on Wikipedia and here’s what I found. I like it:

The Ripple Effect is a term used by the Humanity Healing Foundation[1] in their articles on Spiritual Activism to refer to how positive thoughts and actions expand outward to effect other’s lives, who in turn will add to the “ripple” with their own positive thoughts and actions.

By the way, this morning was BEYOND gorgeous. Stunning. I don’t know that my words can do it justice. The full moon setting as I drove down Highway One reflecting a long yellow path in the ocean. Clean still air. Light air. COLD at 7:30 when I was riding Now Voyager. Still chilly but perfect for the bike ride at 9:00. Life is good!

happy rippling,


  1. You are completely right – I love your term for it – “rippling effect”. It’s so cool how much of a positive influence you can have on those around you without even speaking! Keep up the awesome work and have fun!!

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to know you have made an impact on others? Way to go! You are paying it forward.

    I love reading your blog – it is inspiring and motivating – just what the ripple effect is all about!

  3. You’ve got it spot on, Kathleen. It is so true. We DO inspire those around us. Because when you’re doing things good for yourself, things that are healthy, you become a more positive influence, a more positive light, and something that has that ‘ripple’ effect with people. It’s great.

    I think also as I’ve really come into the mutli-sport lifestyle in the last 4 years, I have tended to create new friendships with those who have more similar ideals. So it’s like a self-feeding cycle.

    That is really awesome. 🙂

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