Why?

I wrote a small blurb once about why I run in my “introductions.” Any activity, if you do it enough, becomes a part of who you are.

The endorphins released during cycling or biking are definintley play a factor in why I do them so much. If you’ve finished a long run, or an exceptional bike ride, you can identify with the feeling of satisfaction you have once you finish. It’s hard to recreate in other situations.

The year after I was told by a neurologist I was to stay away from anything which was “dangerous,” I took up climbing. Every Thursday night you could find me with my Belgian climbing parter, Jacques, climbing. I went on to climb the highest peak in Europe three years later.

My shoes were waiting in the store for me

There is no question. If I let circumstances govern how I live my life, I would never have used crampons or ice climb or face my fears of heights. Yes, I have a huge fear of heights, and I love to rock climb. Kind of weird. Rock climbing is as much mental as it is physical, which is appealing. It’s like completing a puzzle–where do I place my foot? That crevasse is just large enough to squeeze my finger into…Jacques never ceased to tell me, “Trust your feet.”

If I listened to people who told me I would never be able to finish 26.2 miles running without training, I never would have completed my first marathon. Nor go on to finish a second. Or third.

And, I admit, there is a sense of accomplishment when you can say, “I’ve completed three marathons” before you are in your mid-twenties.

After completing two duathlons I can see how triathlons and racing can become life consuming, and how easy it is to become drawn to the sport. I’ve run in more 5k’s than I have fingers, and always ran them because I enjoyed them, not ever to attempt to win. Then the little competitive me sprung into existence with the duathlons–one I never knew existed–and whose “birth” so to say goes hand in hand with the fact I was able to place in my age group in the races I did. Mind you, the races were small, so it was easier for me to do well. Furthermore, from what I’ve noticed, most triathletes tend to be in their late twenties to mid forties or older. Hence it was easier to do well. Now, I’ve found when I enter these races, my motivation is to see how I’ve improved. What has changed? What can I improve upon?

In the past, I’ve done things to prove people wrong (you are treading on eggshells if you tell me I cannot do something, I kid you not). Now, I do things for me. When I’m clipped into my pedals, I’m whole. When I’m pressed up upon a rock face deciding where to move next, I feel complete. As I unlace my sneakers after a run, I am at peace.

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September 2010
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