Earlier today, I read a passage. It was written by someone curious about Ironman. She is struggling to understand the why. What is the drive behind it? Why do we subject ourselves to countless hours of training, constant consideration of our food intake, extraordinary fatigue, fights with injuries, to have it all culminate in a 140.6 mile race that is sure to involve much suffering and pain. It can't be all about the temporary high at the finish line...or can it?
I haven't stopped thinking about this since I read it this morning.
Why do I do this?
And then I realized. I don't have to have a reason. Do I? Is it necessary for me to justify why I love something.
I have moved away from simply considering the Ironman journey to thinking about all triathlon races. Ironman is the Papa Bear of the endurance tests I will embark upon but this way of life involves all the races.
If all the athletes I knew wrote this same post...they would likely all have different responses. You see, we all have our own reasons. On paper, some are more inspiring than others. To each individual however, any reason is enough. It is all it takes. One reason.
I am an athlete. I am a competitor. I am a hard working and motivated woman who loves to push herself beyond where I once thought possible. I thrive on setting goals just above where they once were and fighting to reach them. And to me, those goals involve sport.
Triathlon keeps me healthy, fit and strong. I motivate my children. My boys call me strong. Here's a funny quote from my 5 y.o.. "Daddy, will you carry me upstairs?" M-"I don't know Nick...." N,"Am I too heavy? Ok, Mommy you can do it." Now of course, I am not as strong as my husband but in my little one's eyes, I am an Ironman and therefore I can do anything. He tells me this daily. Hard to beat that.
I am teaching my kids to set goals and do what it takes to reach them. Even if it hurts. Even if you suffer and want to quit. Keep going. And daily, I teach them to eat right and why that is important in their own lives. At their young ages, they get it. Of course,they love cookies just like their Mom but they also know why they need carbs And protein with their meals and what happens if they eat fast food too often. Among other things.
But you know what? Most of the time it's much simpler than that. My reasons don't involve anyone else. Just me.
I. just. love. it.
I love to sweat. ( you hear people say sometimes,'it's hard to exercise because I dont' like to sweat.') Come ON! Take a shower! I love to sweat. I love to run and run and run until I have forgotten how far I have gone or how far I have left to go. I love to pull in the driveway from a hard 50 mile ride, toss the bike to the side, pull on the run shoes and hammer up the hill for another hard 5 miles and feel amazing. It's empowering.
It feels good to work hard. That's it. You put all that together into a race with competition and what more can I ask for? It's what makes me happy. It makes me, me. period.
Is this selfish? I don't think so. I do believe that it is ok for mothers to have personal enjoyment in addition to being the caretaker of the family. Should I be thankful that my family supports me? Absolutely. And you know what, I support them too. We all have things we do that we love and when it's their turn, I am there for them. These are the things that make us who we are.
I rarely hear this question posed to people with other hobbies. Have you ever heard anyone say, "But why do you like to make quilts?" "Why do you enjoy golfing?" "What do you get out of snowmobiling?" It's FUN! Hopefully we all participate in our hobbies because they give us pleasure.
Why is Triathlon so questioned? Is it just my perception? Am I creating this in my head? Is it because one might have to suffer...or push past a level of comfort?
what do you think?