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I bought this month’s “Triathlete” magazine. Because after one brick workout and two swims in the pool, I’m well on my way to triathlete land (haaaaa! I’ve barely got my feet wet..). Anyway, there was an amazing, thought provoking article. “What Really Motivates You?” By Ben Greenfield. I can’t find the article online to post for you, but this blog post by Mr. Greenfield gives you the general idea in a very shortened version (it looks like he was doing research for the article with this blog post).
The general idea (for those of you who didn’t click the link…but really, go read the link!) is to ask yourself the irrational reasons why you do what you do (in this case, triathlons, in my case, running). From his article:
“Here’s how to figure out your irrational want:
1. Ask yourself, “Why do I do triathlons?” If you said, “To feel better…” then ask the same question to your answer.
2. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to feel better?” If you said, “To be more productive at work…” then ask the same question to your answer.
3. Ask yourself again, “Why do I want to be more productive…” So that I get a job promotion and earn a bigger salary.
Continue the pattern…4. “Why do I want to get a bigger salary?” So that I can provide for my child’s education so they can have a future.”
You can see where this goes. Ben Greenfield says there is so much more than the claim “I do this because it’s fun/good for me”.
I didn’t buy it at first. I thought to myself, “no, I run because I love it. It makes me feel good”. End of story. Or is it?
The next day (yesterday) was a bad day for me. It seems that after baby #2 was born, my PMS symptoms have returned with a new twist (sorry guys, but 90% of my readers are females, so we must discuss the PMS. But I’m going somewhere with this, I promise). Instead of being a total grouchy b*tch, I’ve been faced with anxiety. Mentally, I feel as though my whole world is suddenly falling apart. I feel swamped with bills, hating my job, pissed that I brought these two beautiful babies into this world before we were financially stable (are you ever really ready for kids?) or had my college degree, angry that i suck at housework and it looks like a tornado went through my home, upset that I missed a dentist appointment and Kain’s doctor appointment all in one week (I need an assistant!) and generally just feeling worthless. Physically, I felt as though I could crawl out of my skin and up the walls. I couldn’t stand still. It was sickening to my stomach and I was on the brink of loosing it. Or atleast just having a good, long, cry.
So I went for a run.
And those feelings that were plaguing me, they slowly disappeared with every step I took.
No, I don’t always run because I love it. Heck, that first mile I would have rather been anywhere BUT out there pounding the pavement. It’s hard to get into your runs sometimes. Your breathing sucks and your legs ache and your brain is screaming “TURN AROUND AND GO BACK HOME!!”
But when I run, eventually I feel strong. NO ONE has control over my running but me. I feel accomplished with every mile that I rack up on the Garmin.
I may suck at general organization and household duties.
I may not have the best people or friend skills (anyone who has tried to get me to return a phone call will vouch).
I may not be the best mom in the world, even though I try my darnedest.
I may not have a college degree (yet) and may be busting my butt waiting tables everyday to earn a living at the mercy of tourists (who often, such as today, are not phased in the slightest at leaving a 5% tip)
But I can be good at running. Not an elite, not a professional, but good enough. I can push myself, I can get better, I can be dedicated. NO ONE else has any say in that. And that makes me feel damn good.
And when I feel good, I’m a better mother. A better student, a better employee, and a better “housewife” (sometimes, haha).
Plus, I’m undoubtedly addicted to the endorphin high. Yes, I’m a junkie.
So, why do you run? Now ask yourself again, why do you REALLY run?