I am not a runner. I have faked it so much of my life because the running part was a path to my goal.
I would run to chase a ball. Any ball. My entire childhood and heck still as an adult. I run for a ball. Soccer mainly but basketball, lacrosse, tennis… if there’s a ball I can always be convinced to chase it.
I have also spent a fair amount of time running races; started off with some 5ks. I was young when I began and did it to prove to myself I could. My very first race I came in 2nd from last. Literally. I justify that in my defense to say I was 13 and someone doubted me so I wanted to prove (to me and then) I could. That felt like a bit of failure at the time because if I recall that last place was walking and might have been a DNF. I knew that day I didn’t really like running but if someone would have just rolled a ball in front of me for 3.1 miles I might have been a top ten, or at that time 1st in my age group. Following that race there were many many more, most with friends but a few for me — to prove to me I could do it. I progressed from 5k to 10k to a 20-miler, 1/2 (my fave), and eventually a marathon. In between came triathlons, adventure racing; the 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour, (we even signed up for a multi-day which was canceled) and lastly a 1/2 Ironman. In those I was always motivated by people and probing to myself that I could push through anything to get to my finish line — even when I didn’t love it. The cool thing about this is I did love what it did for me mentally. Everyone has their own ways of motivating themselves and finding strength — having the knowledge of what I had pushed myself through always got me through challenges.
Fast forward several years to today and I feel like I’m constantly running uphill. I know from talking to many people a lot of people are doing the same. Trying to find strength at every climb, staying motivated, looking at your kids and knowing life should be better for them right now. This is a tough run. I believe in my house we are lucky we have it better than a lot of people. Some days in school, some activities, some work for the kids — some socialization. But even with that we are still trying to run uphill. The very thing that motivated me to race all those times, the people, they are also going uphill, I get that. But when those people become mean we all lose. We all want to stop running and just walk. I find the hatred in people disheartening. I want to be motivated by the people around me because we are all looking for the same crest of the hill. I want people to stop behaving badly and to see that everyone is challenged right now. Everyone is running uphill, the ball is in sight for some and others don’t even know that its there. I am motivated by all of you around me and we need one another to get to the top. Be nice and stop tripping one another… we all want the feeling and the view at the top.