Why I Run
I started playing sports when I was very young. My elementary school years consisted of YMCA Softball, Little League Baseball, YMCA Basketball, and flag football. From the get go, I was a fairly gifted runner. At the start of junior high, most of my sports friends began growing and I did not. That pretty much put an end to my time playing competitive baseball, basketball, and football. I joined the Cross Country Running team and quickly fell in love with the sport of distance running. Later in that first year of junior high, I joined the track team as part of the distance team.
Throughout my high school days, running became my passion. It started off as an athletic outlet for me once I was no longer able to be competitive in other sports. Through running, I found coaches that believed in me as a person, who would encourage me, and would help me reach beyond my preconceived limits. Running brought me friends that I still connect with today. Running, in many ways, shaped who I am as a person. It gave me something to do as a teenager. It helped keep me motivated to do well in school and stay out of trouble. It has taught me self-discipline. It has taught me how to be mentally tough. It has taught me how to reach deep inside to push through hard times in life. It has taught me how to move forward and learn from mistakes and poor choices.
After high school, I ran for fun but not competitively. I ran with friends. I ran in local 5K races. I ran as a method for reflection. Running brings a sense of calm to my life. After my college days, for the better part of ten years running began disappearing from my life. I had become busy with life, with being married, with a full time job, with study for the CPA exams, with being a dad, with earning an MBA. I quit making fitness a priority.
Once I hit 30 years of age, I began longing to run again. I remembered my high school dreams of completing a marathon. My dreams of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon. (How many teenagers have this as a dream?) I made the decision to start running again! It was a process. I have seen successes and down times. I trained wrong for my first full marathon and struggled with motivation to run for many months after. Since then, I have completed many road races of various distances. I have ran in many 5Ks, 10Ks, Thanksgiving day races. I have completed several half marathons and, so far, 3 marathons. My half marathon personal best is 1:43:28 and my full marathon personal best is 3:54:55.
Why do I run? For me, Running is a journey. It is a process. I am constantly learning and growing. Constantly pushing myself. Constantly challenging complacency.