Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Would Anyone Want to Do That?

Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn't buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure? Remember, you must use it, as it is given only once. Once wasted you cannot get it back. - Unknown

Like many recreational endurance athletes, we're sometimes questioned about why we do what we do. At dinner parties, among friends, at the work water cooler, or visiting extended family any discussion of our training goals is often met with dumbfounded stares and "crazy" talk. So, in no particular order, here's a few of the reasons why we we love endurance sports:

1. It's fun! Really, it is. Running, biking, and swimming feels like playtime -- sometimes, it takes a few minutes, but we always feel better after a workout than we did beforehand.
2. We can. Our bodies were built to move and we cherish that gift. Too many others living with disease or disability will never have this opportunity.
3. Everyday of training presents a new opportunity for us to define who we are. That definition does not get left up to the outside world.
4. We learn to truly be in the moment. Training and racing helps life to come into clear focus. We're better able to block out distractions and focus instead what life is presenting us with right now.
5. We have the opportunity to to savor every drop of the day. Training provides us with the privilege of experiencing the sunrise and sunset on most days.
6. We've never slept better.
7. We love the way our clothes fit.
8. We also like the way our brains fit....We're happier and triathlon costs less than therapy!
9. As married women, endurance sports are one of the few things that separates "me" from "we." Savoring the "me" teaches us that we are always whole just as we are. As a result, we're more present, engaged, supportive, loving partners.
10. Because get to learn a lot about the different faces of our community, we're more engaged citizens. Through running and biking, we've experienced what words like growth, urban renewal, sprawl, traffic-calming devices, protected habitat, and farmland really mean.
11. Finishing our first marathon in 2003 taught us that we truly can do ANYTHING we put our minds, hearts, and feet to. That mindset has allowed us to take on other previously scary things in life like changing careers, going back to school, learning to swim, making high pressure presentations, or hosting a dinner party for 12!
12. We've gained membership into a special community of "believers" -- other folks who are committed to living their very best lives and see endurance sports as the path. We like the company.