Why do we run?
Is it because we enjoy it?
Or are we just telling ourselves and other people that?
Why must we always strive to become better, faster, stronger? Might this rob us of the joy that can be found in the journey, in the experience?
A more beneficial question for me to ask you would be, why do YOU run?
Many people that I know, friends of mine, enjoy running and enjoy racing and are always striving to become better and faster. I myself am included! This is my experience: I have coveted and strived after a Boston Qualifying time each marathon I have run. Sure, the first one, in 2012, the pressure was not really there, it was my first race, and I was just to finish. But I wanted to finish WELL. I am competitive, what can I do? A lot of us are like this.
But I have a question to pose regarding this – if our primary purpose of running is for enjoyment or stress relief, or simply that we enjoy it, then why are we so constantly adding stress to it by putting the demands of athletic achievement behind it?
Are we going to place first? Are we going to win money? Are we going to support our families with it? Is this our calling and career, to be elite endurance athletes?
For some, it is.
Why is it we do what we do?
I’m taking. A stab at this one, don’t hate me! What are we trying to prove? And to whom are we trying to prove it? If ourselves, then great! Go out and earn your self respect and work hard for the time you believe you can achieve. But if for others, why?
Is there something missing in our lives that we have turned to endurance sports to try to fill that void? Do we think that the time we so badly want will bring happiness?
It is an incredible thing to run a marathon or to race any type of event, particularly endurance races, in my opinion. But maybe we should consider a level of balance in our lives to enjoy all of life while enjoying our [time consuming] hobby.
Many of us who have a spouse and children have learned this.
The point I want to make is to live an enriched life – a life you enjoy. Yes, I am a HUGE advocate for setting goals and working toward and achieving them, but I am also for balance and sanity. We cannot work ALL of the time. There must be time for family, socializing, relaxation, downtime.
It is not until we stop running that we can be quiet and reflect on life and what we appreciate and enjoy about it, and maybe also what we are dissatisfied with and need to change.
Don’t allow the future to rob you of enjoying today. Enjoy the journey. Don’t wish away today to get to tomorrow to some goal.
The people who are most at peace with who they are are the easiest to be around and will remind you of what things to be thankful for in life. The people who are most at peace with who they are can truly enjoy life.
Maybe, just maybe, we might be wise to slow down for a few minutes, in our consumerism first world society and look to things that are truly important. Family, friends and experiences, versus accolades, possessions, and accomplishments?