Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why I Run, Why I Train, Why I Race

I'm 41 years old. I started running less than two years ago. Two of the three most important women in my life, my sisters Janet and Jayne, both died at 37 years of age, Janet of brain tumors and Jayne of leukemia. The third woman, my mother, died of lung cancer two years after she retired. After 48 years of nursing, she had five months of retirement before she became a patient. My father has had five heart attacks, two heart bypass surgeries, numerous episodes of pneumonia and other assorted hospitalizations, and lives today with three painful hernias and one quarter of normal cardiac function.

From my friend Angie, here's why I run:

Then I found triathlons. To compete in triathlons, you have to train. At odd hours, usually in the early morning or after a long day at work or both in the same day. After a flight delay gets me in late and takes away my sleep or when I've logged two weeks' worth of work in one calendar week. Plus weekends. Long hours on the weekends. In the cold, the rain, the heat, the humidity and when it's anything but convenient. And it's been the MOST fun. Seriously. From my friend Brad, here's why I train:

I'm relieved and grateful to be healthy. I'm lucky to be able to train. I try to enjoy it just as much as that little boy above - isn't his smile incredible? Such joy.

This is all a huge luxury, and this year especially has been The Year of Spoiling Michele. I'm so lucky.

But I'm not so noble or altruistic that there isn't something else in it for me.

And that? The outlet of competition. Me against the course. Me against the clock. Me against myself.

Here's why I race:

Time to Do Work.

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