If you ask any triathlete why they put themselves through the months of training and strenuous day of an Ironman, there's not a lot of really concrete answers. I enjoy the challenge? I want to push myself to achieve something difficult? Because I want to buy every last item in the Ironman shop that has the M-dot logo on it and plaster it all over my car, my attire and on my body?
Hmm, all legitimate answers. But I have been pondering this question since I watched the finishers at last week's Arizona Ironman. I have assembled of a short list my personal answers. For convenience sake, I have entitled my list - Why I Run. But it can just as easily be applied to Why I Swim, Why I Bike or Why I Do Triathlons. Here goes:
Running Away - Morning runs are usually preceded by a not-too-eventful yesterday. But occasionally, there's a catastrophic problem that falls into my lap. My father's death, my friend's divorce, a family issue, an argument with my child. Have you ever wanted to run from your problems? On these mornings, I run and run and run, and allow the tears to fall. My labored breathing becomes the only thing I allow myself to focus on as a tick off the miles. I let the loud beat of my heart block out the crisis. The respite from reality is short lived and therapeutic. It calms my nerves and restores my vitality. Some sort of wonder drug - maybe? But if it is, I am addicted.
Running In Circles -- My internal alarm clock no longer allows me to sleep in past 6:30a.m. So I meet my girlfriends, we say our good mornings, then we are off. Routine. While we run the canal out-and-back, the Rita Loop, or the Big Loop, (always running in circles) we share our latest problems/concerns/situations. We have the unwritten rule "What we say on these runs, stays on these runs." It is a code of silence by which we all abide. There is no judgement here. When we share our issues, we are seeking advice from trusted moms and sisters. Sometimes it takes the pre-dawn darkness, with all eyes looking forward, to make one feel most comfortable sharing life's sticky situations. But the good thing is, tomorrow someone else will be seeking council for their own difficult problem. And thankfully, there will be ladies ready and waiting to lend a listening ear and offer some excellent advice.
Running To Race - There's nothing like crossing a finish line. Nothing like making a plan, executing that plan over many grueling months, then putting that hard work to the test. I crave it. A race gives you something to work for, something tangible on the calendar with a start and end date. And running/biking/swimming allows you to seek out those races, set those goals and push yourself to your physical limits. If you've ever doubted your abilities in anything, a great remedy is to set a lofty yet achievable goal and work toward it. It will help to eliminate self doubt. Baby steps, line upon line, putting hay in the barn - any way you phrase it, if you are making daily effort toward a worthwhile goal, you are bettering yourself. Stretch your limits and you'll be amazed at what your body can do, and where your mind can go. There's no better time than today to plan for a race and most importantly, to Dream Big. It's good for the soul.
So, now it's your turn. Why do YOU run?
Dreams That Have Come True
- ► 2015 (16)
- ► 2014 (35)
- ► 2013 (54)
- ► 2012 (97)
- ► 2011 (144)
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