Put me on a bike and I’ll ride 100 miles, walk away with a sore tush grab some water and do it again the next day. Well maybe not the next day, but that’s really not the point. The point is, I like cycling. In fact, I love cycling. Running, not so much. I used to run quite a bit, then I got older, fatter and outer of shaper.
Fast forward to today – I don’t run, I don’t like it and I don’t do it (perhaps for the aforementioned reasons). I use the cross-trainer at the gym in the winter, lift weights, and ride my bike – I don’t run. My body hurts when I run – whether it’s an ankle, knee or even my shoulder – they all hurt at different times when I run.
I ask myself, why am I doing this. I ask myself this all the time. Sometimes as I train for this ½ marathon, I ask myself every step. Why do it? Am I doing it for me? Am I doing it out of guilt? Am I doing it to lose weight? Am I doing it to motivate others?
The answer is all of the above! I feel I should be able to run that far and then I try to run and realize just how far 13.1 miles really is! #damn. I gotta say, I felt like a chubby out of shape little turd when I can’t run a mile without wheezing. I hate being out of shape and I kinda thought I was in pseudo-shape – did I mention I can ride my bike 100 miles?
So yeah, why am I really doing this? It all started by thinking I’d be leading by example or taking one for the team. I’ve thought about quitting several times already. I’ve come up with a dozen excuses. Even tonight I missed my 3.5 mile run in favor of a cheeseburger & fries (not a common meal for me, but wow, tasty) I thought “why am I running”.
To combat the why, I now need to wake at 5.30am tomorrow and run – harumph! I’m going to do it and I’m really going to like being done! My mindset is slowly changing and I hope I can keep pushing through. Instead of taking one for the team, I’m out to prove that I can run through the silly barriers this run is throwing at me. I’m out to prove that when you put your mind to something you can do it. I’m out to show my young self that my current self can still run! I’m out to prove that I can run twice what I’ve ever run before (that was 6 miles – Chris Carlson, I still curse you for that!)
What do I know now? I know that as I cross the finish or hand the baton or whatever it is I will do in this relay race of 100 miles, I will know that I didn’t do this just for me. I did it for the people we support in the community. I did it for the team that I ran with. I did it for my wife, who has run these ½ marathon things before. I did it for my kids to prove to them that sometimes you do stuff you don’t like. Have I mentioned that I am not a runner!
We are running to raise money for The Cara Program in Chicago. If you would like to support the Be Found at the Finish Line team and the Cara Program, you can donate online here.
Also published on Medium.