I don’t love endurance sports. That said, I’ve run a couple of marathons and am currently training for an Ironman 70.3 — a triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run. I run 20–30 miles a week, bike 50–60, and swim about 3.
A lot of people call me crazy and will ask…
If you hate running (or endurance sports), why do you do it then?
While I’ve always been a decent athlete, I’ve never excelled at endurance sports. They’re difficult for me — both physically and mentally. And they make really uncomfortable.
When I’m 10 miles from home and have to rely on my own two feet carry me back, that puts a knot in my stomach. That makes me really uncomfortable.
But that’s exactly why I do it.
Running teaches me about perseverance. About pushing through when things get hard. It helps me embrace discomfort, and understand that it is an opportunity for growth. It teaches me about self-discipline and how to get the job done no matter what.
Just because I don’t like to do something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. The power of running isn’t in doing it, but rather, in forcing myself to do it despite not wanting to.
In life, there are always going to be things we don’t want to do. But we have to do them anyways. Running teaches me the self-discipline to get them done, no matter what.
Sure, the physical benefits are great. But more important to me are the mental benefits — discipline, perseverance, confidence. In forcing myself to run, bike or swim, I’m preparing for life. It’s about more than just putting in miles. It’s about improving as a human being. More importantly, running is about being as prepared as possible to handle the challenges that life is undoubtedly going to throw at me.