Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why run

I get asked fairly often "why" I run, and what my motivation is to run/train like I do. Why do I keep setting challenging goals for myself? Why do I get up at 4:30am every day? Why am I running over 70 miles a week? What is my motivation?

The easy answer is, because I love it. I love running, and it is a part of who I am.

I often write about my love for horses, and how inspiring it is to watch a horse run. A baby horse is up on it's feet almost right after it is born, and can run at a gallop by the next day. I don't know why it took me so long to find this part of myself. I don't know why I didn't go for my first run until I was 32 years old. All I know is that when I went on that first run, I unlocked a part of myself, an instinct, that was just waiting to be found, and even though running was HARD and I was slow, I knew I loved it, and I was hooked.

What motivates me? Since I started running I have often claimed that I may not have a lot of natural physical talent (although Bart Yasso and Coach Ray have made me reconsider that!), but what I know I have going for me is that I am stubborn and determined. I don't ever give up, I don't ever back down, I don't ever make excuses, I don't ever quit, and I have an inner drive to be better at whatever I am doing. In fact I think that one of my biggest strengths when it comes to running is my mental toughness. I never (ever) would have described myself as mentally tough a few years ago, but through running I have found out that I AM tough. And I like it.

So yeah, I am pretty darn self-motivated. At first, my motivation was definitely weight loss. Then once I got to a healthy weight, there was this constant, underlying fear that the weight would all come back if I slacked off at all on exercising and that fear was a big motivator to keep running. Then I fell in love with running because of how it made me feel, and then came the love of marathons, and the  drive to keep pushing to see how good I can be.
 
Races are motivating to me. I love to race. And when I race, I want to do well and beat my previous times. I want to be fast. I want to be the best runner I can be. I want to make my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon trials in 2016. So I have to train, and train hard.

But I know without a doubt, that even if I could never reach my goals, even if I could never run another race, even if I could never be fast, I would still run.

For me, running helps keep me in good physical shape, and it also keeps my mind and spirit in good shape.

I think the biggest motivator for me is just that I love running and I love being an athlete and a runner. I hope to be able to keep running for my whole life. I run because it has helped me get into (and stay in) shape. I run because I want to get faster and achieve my goals. I run because it clears my head and calms my soul. I run because it's fun. I run because I love the "me" time. I run because I love a challenge. I run because it feels good, and because I have found it is one of the best things I can do for myself, physically and emotionally. I run because it makes me a better wife, a better mother, and a better person.

I run because I happily dedicate my life to caring (physically and emotionally) for others, and this is what I do to care for myself.

But all of that makes it sound more complicated than it really is.

What it really comes down to, is that I run because it is a part of who I am. I run because it is in my blood and in my spirit.  I run because it is what I do. I run because I love it. I run because there is something inside of me that tells me to "go". 

Running is freedom, a challenge, fun, powerful, humbling, revitalizing, adventure, sweat, smiles, sacrifice, discipline, focus, personal, dedication, passion, satisfying, peace, rewarding, a journey, energy, play, pure, spiritual, enabling, sport, necessary, happiness, therapy, physical, exciting, natural, healing, courage, faith, strength, Me.







14 comments:

Jen@runfortheboys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robinbb said...

I think it is so important to remember why we run when we are in the middle of a hard training cycle or a hard race. Running is so freeing to me and I just love the way it makes me feel. Great post!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Sorry, I accidentally posted my comment before I was finished. Anyway, great post! You never make excuses and your enthusiasm for the sport is contagious. Thanks for sharing this. I had a moment last weekend during the half when a bad attitude came out of nowhere and slowed me down and I was not proud of that. It happened the last 2 miles when I realized I wasn't going to be able to meet My goal. I just wanted to give up. If you have any advice or suggestions on how to overcome a bad attitude especially during a race I would love to hear them. I was really taken aback, surprised, then ashamed of that negativity. I knew running was partly mental but didn't realize HOW mental! :)

MCM Mama said...

I love this!

I sometimes wonder why I run. I know I run to keep depression at bay, but most of the time I run because it's what I do. It's part of who I am now.

portia said...

I love reading your blog because you are so positive! This is a great post. You are such an inspiration to me - I'm planning to run my first marathon in May.

Thanks for sharing your running journey with us.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Always a happy runner! I love that!

runnerwannabe said...

Great post. I am at the stage of running to try and lose weight. However, last Saturday's group training run of 8 miles I actually enjoyed it!!!

bobbi said...

"But I know without a doubt, that if I could never reach my goals, if I could never run another race, if I could never be fast, I would still run."

YES! Love this post!

Mark Matthews said...

Your blog posts are getting exceedingly motivating. Love this one. Well done and needed to read it on a day like today. Appreciate it.

DL said...

I love reading your blog - I have always been a "runner" but never really let myself consider being a runner because I still have a lot of weight to lose until I feel I can call myself a
"runner". I also have a passion for adoption and my husband and I are starting the process this year :)

Blessings to you

On the Right Track said...

So prolific...so moving!

Your passion for life is so contagious!

enough said...

:)

Cyndi said...

Very inspirational post! It's important to remember why we run. Like you, I run because I love it and can't imagine my life with out it!

Anonymous said...

Love your post! I made medal displays for my running buddies for Christmas and painted why they run on the display. I run because it brings inner peace! Carol-WV

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

Love it and well said. I think every runner that reads this can say an "amen sister!"