Reasons to Move – Why You Should Enjoy the Ride

I am lucky enough to have friends who conveniently live about 20 minutes away from this place,

How you doin'?

Lucky me!

and right across the street from this place.

WOT

I can tell you, there is nothing like this within running distance of my humble abode, so you can bet I take advantage of this beau-tee-ous spot every chance I travel to the northern regions.  (At least north for this Black Dog).  And each time I hit this particular spot of pavement, typically inhabited by nothing more than a handful of other runners, walkers, cyclists, and mutts with their owners, I find the brain cells wandering back to why I continue to plop one foot in front of the other.

E=mc2?

Why, Black Dog? Why?

Do I run for the health benefits?  Perhaps – even though my IT bands like to think otherwise.  Do I run for the blessed solitude that I so often never seem to find?  Maybe so.  Do I run because at times I can be a sentimental schmuck and love that it’s one of the main reasons the hubby and I found each other?  I’m sure.  Whatever the reason(s) may be, I know most of them are different – with some similarities I’m sure – for each and every one of us.  One thing is a guarantee though.  Once we start, it’s pretty rare that we can just stop.  Either because we can’t, we don’t want to, or a combination of both.  Those miles become our crack and all we can do is find a way to get our next fix.

I don't know why Mommy runs, I'm just happy that she does!

I don’t know why Mommy runs, I’m just happy that she does.  Especially when she takes me too!

Whatever our reasons may be, it’s a personal journey for all of us.  Some of us may choose to view it as a battle with ourselves and our will to fight through the pain, seeming lack of available oxygen, or our own brains, (who here has psyched themselves out of running one last sprint because we just didn’t think we had it in us?).  I’ve read about runners who have actually sat down on the curb in the middle of a race and thrown a hissy, never making it to the finish line for any number of unknown reasons.  Is our own brain the single largest obstacle to our running success – whatever our definition of success may be?  Probably so.  But I also like to think it can be our greatest ally when it feels like everything that can go wrong, does.

You are stronger than you think!

You are stronger than you think!

Whatever your reason may be for getting off your dupa and getting it moving, whether it be to the gym, in the pool, on the road, or wherever your fitness path may take you, one thing is for certain – it’s ALL GOOD.  Movement, of any kind, is always better than none at all.  That corny saying of you’re lapping everybody on the couch?  Darn tootin’!

lap couch

As I continue my daily battle with my own greatest enemy – myself – I invite you to join along with me in keeping our eye on the prize.  That “finish line” is the best version of ourselves, both mentally and physically.  Will our bad habits always be banging on the door, begging us to scarf down just one more scoop of Moose Tracks?  Of course they will.  What we do when we open that door is what will either make or break us.  We will give up and/or give in – that’s just human nature, but hopefully it’s only occasionally.  How we handle our own personal demons is what will determine our success.

keep going

I hope if you’re having one of those “I’m just not feeling it today” kind of days, this little rambling of mine helps you find some motivation, and reminds you why you started your fitness journey in the first place.  That finish line is always a fluid one and like it, we need to be fluid too.  Be flexible, be open-minded, but most of all, be accountable to yourself.  You may find you’re just a little bit easier to live with if you are.

Enjoy the ride.

How do you get or keep yourself motivated when you’re just not feeling it?

What Makes Professional Athletes So Good?

We all know them.  Those kids we grew up with who were destined for athletic greatness.  Whether it was the high school cross-country team or the US Olympic Team, they were the ones everyone else envied.  Their natural ability, the seemingly lack of effort from the starting gun when everyone else around them were bent over with stitches in their sides, the ease of running a football 90 yards like there was no one else on the field.  Some were bound for greatness and others – well, not so much.  But how they made it look oh so easy.

What exactly is it that separates elite athletes from the rest of us lowly weekend warriors?  Watching athletes who are tops in their field can make anyone green with envy.

How does he DO that?

How DOES he do that?

In a quest to quench my never satisfied thirst of all things inconsequential, I thought this was actually a subject with some teeth.  If, at the end of all this, I came away feeling I had found the keys to the kingdom, (or at least to King James), then perhaps my next mile might just end up being a little bit faster.  Maybe not, but this Disney princess can dream, can’t she?

It was rumored Michael Jordan built a basketball complex in his home for no other reason than for his love of the game.  Not being a BFF of Jordan’s I can’t verify the reasons for why he had it built.  But in this day and age of steroids, crazy salaries, and competition for endorsements, it’s nice to believe someone might have actually done just that.  Play a sport because you love it?  Who ever heard of such a thing?

In all the miles I’ve logged, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever hit that, (what’s for me anyway), elusive runner’s high.  I would give anything to catch it, bottle it, shoot it up, market it, offer it at water stations.  The ability to hit that high more often than not is the stuff dreams are made of.  How I envy those endorphin/adrenaline junkie’s dreams who think nothing of pushing the limits, both mentally and physically.  What an awesome power that must be!

One of the greatest runners ever.

One of the greatest ever.

One thing I think every athlete, whether amateur or pro, has in common, is the desire to overcome adversity.  If it’s nothing more glamorous than getting off the couch to lose weight, or the thrill of having a medal hung around your neck and hearing your national anthem played, we all have a monkey we want off our back.  Some more than others…

Drama aside, he's still one of the best.

Drama aside, he’s still one of the best.

From a relatively small town in Ontario, to an island nation, to a tiny ocean side village on the Pacific, one thing is for certain – the drive and determination of athletes the caliber of Gretsky, Pujols, or Prefontaine, can be an inspiration to us all.

gretsky

The Great One

The Mang

The Mang

Go Pre

Go Pre!

So the next time you find yourself thinking you can always do those fartleks another day, you really don’t need to finish up those last three miles you planned on running tonight, or what harm can another margarita do, think of the gifts you’ve been given – the gift to move, run, and breathe.  Many are not so lucky.  As Pre said,

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”

Enjoy the ride.

What drives you to excel?

(All photos courtesy of Google Images.)