Running for life

Posted on July 19, 2013


Untitled 4Runners … and indeed any other sports guys and gals, tend to fall into one of two camps.

On one side, there are those who train as a means of participation … to work towards events and compete. They love to set goals and have a tangible purpose to their daily efforts. And then there are those who don’t feel the need to set specific goals or enter races. Their sport is just a lifestyle choice. The training they do is just a part of them … what they stand for, what they do, who they are …

Sometimes we switch between the two during the course of our careers as athletes … swinging back and forth like a metronome. And sometimes, the goal setting / competitive side is reserved for the young, desperate to measure their worthiness and validate themselves then down the line, with age and wisdom, comes a complete self-satisfaction and a lack of need to validate yourself.  You are what you are, you love who you are and you have no need to prove anything to anyone.

This was a thought-provoking discussion I listened to on a podcast during my run this morning and it inevitably provoked my thinking about where I personally lie.

You see, I’m not the least bit competitive against others … in fact, I couldn’t care less about the agenda and objectives of fellow competitors … but I am extremely competitive with myself. I set myself very high expectations and am fiercely disappointed with myself if I don’t give something my all. Remember my post titled, ‘Is winning everything?

Having said that, in recent years, I have without a doubt become much kinder to myself in that I remind myself often, and successfully, that running, sport, all things in this arena, are our passions, our hobbies and should be treated that way. Training goes in peaks and troughs … race results sometimes astound us and at other times dishearten us …  reaching goals sometimes run like clock work … and at other times, life gets in the way and the journey becomes a bumpy ride. And therein lies the word that is the point of this very post.

It’s all just a journey … our priorities change during our lives, our dreams and our schemes are ever revolving and so should our outlook towards our sport and the context of competition within that. This is what makes it all exciting and interesting. This keeps our fire alight and our passion burning bright …

So whichever camp you fall into is the right one. For you, right now. You might finish races and find yourself immediately online, desperately seeking your next ‘fix’ or you might just run, swim, bike, whatever, for the sheer joy. And because you can.

Enjoy it. We’re all so privileged to make this choice our own.

I finished my run this morning, post listening to the interview, with a blast of my favourite song, ‘I run for Life’ by Melissa Etheridge. It never fails to make my soul sing and seemed a fitting end too …

‘I run for hope, I run to feel, I run for the truth, for all that is real’

Happy running!



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