This morning a good friend of mine posted a question on Facebook:
“Why do you race?”
She was looking for motivation from her support group of athletes. My gut response was, “You race because it gives you confidence and that confidence carries over into every aspect of life.”
But that’s not right. Confidence is a by-product of racing, not the reason. Anyone can earn fitness and self-confidence by working out and eating healthy. Racing is bigger than that.
I think I race because it stretches me. It makes me uncomfortable. There are so many unknowns on race day. Was my training good enough? Was my taper timed right? Will I have equipment problems? Did I eat early enough to avoid digestive issues? Honestly, when I stand at the starting line, I’m filled with fear and anticipation. It’s damn exciting!
Our children experience these feelings on a regular basis. Life is constantly changing for them. When you think about it, their lives are filled with anticipation…first day of school, first date, first performance, first time away from home, first time driving, first job, etc… Childhood is exciting.
Adulthood, on the other hand, can be pretty mundane. The “firsts” are replaced by routine. The energy that defined you “back in the day” is a distant memory. Instead of driving your way through life, you’ve become a passenger…watching the scenery go by. Come on!! You weren’t born to settle. You need to wake up. Adulthood should be exciting.
Racing makes life exciting. Just enter a 5K or a Tough Mudder or a mini-triathlon and things will change. You’ll have to train. You’ll doubt yourself. You’ll worry and on race day you’ll use the bathroom three times. Your emotions will be on over-drive but it’s worth every second of angst because you get to stand at the starting line. There’s only one feeling that trumps the “alive” feeling experienced at the starting line of an event and that’s the “Holy sh**, I did it!!” feeling of crossing the finish line.
I race because it makes adulthood exciting.