I recently met up with an old friend and spent the evening catching up. When I mentioned my upcoming plans to run a ten-mile race he really wanted to know why I was doing this. His questions weren’t out of contempt – he just wanted to understand my motivation.
I gave a textbook answer; running was good for my health. This satisfied his curiosity but I felt like it was artificial. Aaaaannd I sounded lame. I thought about it all week, hoping I could figure out a better (and cooler) reason for why I was taking this on.
*five days later*
This morning I ran my ten-miler. As I crossed the finish line I was in shock (and a fair amount of pain). Along every mile I’d been asking myself why on earth I signed up for this nonsense. Then suddenly it dawned on me.
I did this because I didn’t think that I could. And that’s an awesome feeling.
In my entire life I’d never run more than four miles before training for this race. I figured that if I attempted and failed, no one would be surprised. But, on the off chance I could pull it off, I’d totally increase my badassness.
I can’t pinpoint a specific moment or event where this change of heart took place. My first thought is that it happened because I’m at a very good and settled point in life and wanted to shake things up. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life and I am extremely happy, but I think that as soon as I feel too stagnant I want to rock the boat just a little. I’ve always felt that while it’s a blessing to be content, it can be dangerous to become complacent.
I know another part of my motivation comes from having completely amazing parents. My parents have always believed in me, and more importantly, they’ve taught me to believe in myself. Nauseatingly corny? Very. Am I grateful? Beyond.
Even after living on my own for the past eight years, I’m still thankful that I was taught at an early age to challenge myself and try new things. Aside from the assurance that I’ll never be bored, this mentality has helped me build confidence and succeed. Thanks Mom and Dad for your love and support!