Why DO I do this, anyway?
Running is kind of a weird sport, because it really seems to bring out strong reactions in other people. Tell somebody you’re a runner, and prepare for the onslaught of reasons why that person doesn’t run, or a spate of questions about why you do.
Other sports don’t seem to have this effect. Tell someone you like to play softball, and they are likely to say, “good for you,” “that’s cool,” or possibly, “I was thinking about doing that. Where do you play?”
But running seems to bring out a need in people to explain why they don’t. Maybe it’s the fact that literally everyone can do it but most choose not to. At any rate, among the population at large, people who LIKE to run are a minority.
Non-runners think that those of us who do it must be genetically gifted but from what I have seen, that’s not the case. Go to a running event and you will see all types there, from the truly athletic Boston qualifiers to those who normally only run for beer.
I enjoy running, I work at it, but I also accept that on some level I will always be working with my own particular limitations. I’m a middle of the pack runner, and with a lot of hard work I can probably move forward to the front end of the middle of the pack, and maybe even place top 5 in my age group – perhaps better in an uncompetitive field. This may not sound exciting to anyone else, but to me it’s a goal that inspires me to get out 4 or 5 days a week and see what I can do. What’s the best I can do, working with what I have – to wit: knock knees, fallen arches, and a sort of paddling gait?
That’s the question I want to answer.
I don’t do it because I want to win races. I don’t do it because I want to have a perfect body. I do it because it feels good to move my body and be the fittest me I can be. I do it because every day I get a chance to measure myself and try to be just a little better than I was yesterday. Even on bad days, I can look back and see that I’ve come a long way in just 9 months. Who knows how far I might go in another year?
So that is why this blog is not so much about running or food, it’s really about feeling good, enjoying life, and moving forward – which I think is is achievable for everybody.
Maybe I’ll never run an 8 minute mile again. Maybe I’ll never place 1st in my age group in a race. Then again, maybe I will. Who knows?
That’s one of the things I think is great about running – you never know what you might achieve if you work hard enough. Doing the work is actually the fun part.
So the answer is, I do it because I like to. I do it because I can.