Why Continue to Run?
Aug 11, 2016
Every now and then, I will have someone ask me how long I will run?
When am I going to stop?
The first time I was asked, it caught me off guard. Why would I stop? What would it mean to me to stop running, to stop moving? Honestly, that's a circuit blower for me. I guess one day, I might have to find something that does for me what running does. But, for now, I will run.
It has been almost 12 years since I finished my first marathon. That's a pretty long time, think, especially since I didn't instantly love running. It was a struggle. So why did I start running and train for a marathon? Because I said I would do it. I promised to train, so I did.
I didn't quit and, let me tell you, I wanted to quit many mornings when it was earlier than early, dark, hot and miles stood there, taunting me. I pushed through for several months and finished my training. I went to Chicago and I finished my first marathon.
Here I am about mile 13:
I still remember loading the car for the airport. Our friend, Rodney, who had been training with us, had come over from Louisiana to ride with us to the airport. That first year, 22 of us went to Chicago.
We were in the car and Rodney was so excited. He asked, "Aren't you excited?". My answer was, "No. Not really." And I wasn't. I was not looking forward to the marathon, not really. I was dreading it, to be honest. But I'm not a quitter and I was determined to do it. I just wasn't looking forward to it!
Obviously, I finished, as did 22 others from our group. It was a life changing experience to run the Chicago Marathon, but just as life changing, if not more so, was the journey to the starting line. That's where the changes take place. The marathon is when you put all of those little changes together and get your finish. It is truly remarkable. The actual marathon is only just a bit of the experience. It's definitely the cherry on top!
Now, here I am 12 1/2 years later, encouraging, teaching and training people to do the same thing - train for and complete a marathon. Why? Because the process, the journey, the marathon itself, taught me great lessons that changed my life and continue to fill my tank, calm my fears, soothe my anxious heart and lift my spirit.
I keep going because:
- We all need to challenge ourselves and get the most out of this life by giving our best to it. The marathon is a challenge to me that continues to push me to be my best.
- It's great therapy! Mental, physical and spiritual. It's good for the soul.
- I have found a community that I love.
- I get out of it what I put into it. What you get in running, you earn and I like that.
- Power. There is power in taking the next step - literally. Some days, I just have to get out of the door and just take the next step - over and over and over again. When I'm done, I'm never sorry that I went.
I keep going because I can't think of one single reason to stop. Why would I stop doing something that makes me a better me?
If you'd like to follow my journey, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter @runwithrobin.
I want to encourage you to accept the challenge to be your best, in whatever you do. Find something that will push you, challenge you and help make you the person you are meant to be.
Be your best!
Co-Director of Marathon Makeover and Stop, Drop and Move
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