I run. It’s just what I do. There are myriad reasons why I decide to squash my chest into a sports bra (sorry, par for the course for us lady runners), pull on sometimes constrictive spandex clothing, and tie on a pair of running shoes nearly every single day. I run for fitness, I run to conquer distances, I run to feel the pavement under my feet, I run to chase that next PR, I run to think, I run to breathe, I run to sweat, I run to feel, I run because I am in love with the sport, I run because I can. The reasons don’t end with this list…in fact, my “whys” for running are infinite. Every day brings a new justification, a new explanation.
Reasons, though, are different than motivation. Reasons simply justify my behavior. Motivation, on the other hand, gets my tush in motion on days when I’m just not feelin’ it.
Yes, folks, as much as I love The Run, there are days when I’m just not feelin’ it. Days when I need that little extra push to get out the door and put foot to pavement. Days when I want to quit a speed session halfway through because I’m not hitting my times or I’m feeling like hammered dog poop.
It’s these days that the “whys” won’t cut it. Nope. These occasions call for the big guns. I need to be provoked, I need a driving force, an impetus to action -and you know what that is? Do you know what one thing motivates me? What inspires me more than anything?
You, my friends. You, my runners. You, my fellow athletes, my comrades in running shoes. Nothing quite stokes my fire like YOU do.
The running community at large, competitors I’ve met at races, like-minded souls I follow on social media, runner friends, and those I coach. ALL of YOU have inspired me at one point or another. I remember the story of an acquaintance who ran her way through breast cancer, the instance of a talented runner who gave me a run for my money in the last 5 miles of a 50 mile race, the occasion when a client of mine shaved two minutes…and then two more minutes off her 5k time in three months, the wonder of my mother picking up running for the first time at 63-years-old and discovering passion for an activity she thought she was incapable of.
I recall these things and I am invigorated, I am reminded that running is the most spectacular gift and should never be sacrificed.*
So, my dears, when you’re feeling less than inspired, when your couch looks like Shangri-la, when you’re three reps into 8 x 200 and you feel like calling it quits, remember this…
You never know. It may be ME.
*Brownie points if you know which iconic runner I’m referencing!