Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Do You .. Ah-Ah Push It?

"Don't Give Up ... Don't Ever Give Up" - Motto of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, quoted by Jimmy Valvano, legendary college basketball coach who died of bone cancer in 1993

What keeps you going when you're tired?

What drives you to push through the weakness & pain?

What's the one thing that lifts one foot in front of the other when you want to stop, go home, or quit?

I'm always interested to know what makes people tick and what drives them when they want to give up during a workout or run.  Not necessarily why they start ... there are millions of awesome reasons why we all start!  Wonderful charities, personal goals, bucket lists, health ... but once you're out there, what makes  you stay out there and keep moving?

There seem to be a few different forces that drive me ... the desire to improve, a huge sense of accomplishment when I'm done, wanting to impress my family, and just simple insanity.  But I think one of my biggest motivating factors is fear ... or maybe it's insecurity.  It's a driving characteristic that a lot of first born children from poor families inherit.  It can be a blessing, but also a curse at times.  I'm afraid of quitting.  I'm afraid of not meeting my goals.  I'm afraid of letting myself, and people close to me down. And I'm afraid of failure ... even though most of the time I place very unrealistic expectations on myself, and everyone else.  Probably not fair, I know ... but it seems to be who I am.

But also, I think it's the fear of being plain, or normal, or just like everyone else.  Now believe me ... deep down I know I'm way more ordinary than I want to admit or accept.  Running 13 marathons in 30 months can give you this false sense of "Hey, I'm really something!"  And while it's a really cool accomplishment for me ... I know that thousands, if not millions of runners have way more impressive resumes.  I'm not in their league homie!  But I love being able to walk into a room and think to myself, "I'll bet no one in here got up and ran this morning."  Or knowing that out of everyone at my company, neighborhood, or community - only a few have completed a 5K, triathlon, half-marathon, or marathon ... ever!  Is it solving world peace or curing blindness ... no, it's just running.  But it's a daily practice of pushing myself and never giving up. And for a moment, it makes me feel like I stand out, like I've done something amazing, or like I can do anything I set my mind to... and yeah, I guess it makes  me feel a little less ordinary!

So even though I'll never break the first place tape at a marathon, or run in the Olympics, or set any speed or endurance records ... I find a reason to keep going ...

What's yours?
... be great today!


  1. You stopped by the other day on my last post - so you kinda have a foundation.

    What drives me is something that is difficult to explain. If I had to pick a single thing - I have an insatiable desire to drive out inner "demons" and see if I can find my breaking point.

    Good post.

  2. I push myself because I know that I can do it. I have stage 4 cancer that I have been living with for 2 years and I'm not going to let that define me. I'm going to defy the odds and keep going and living the way I want to.
    Great Post!

  3. I keep going because I know I can. Many days I may not want to, but deep down I know I can, so I do. It's that discipline that makes us stronger.

  4. Great post....I wrote one almost identical last night (only I get too wordy - haha)...I love how everyone runs for their own reasons - especially marathons. You are pretty dang BA to get up everyday and do it over and over again, to complete 13 marathons in such a short time, and never give up. So inspiring!!

  5. Great post and very thought provoking. When I first started running I kept going to acheive new distances and new PR's but now it has reached a whole new level and turned into something different. I push myself because I am ambitious and I know I would be selling myself short if I didn't keep working hard and using this talent.

    We never actually reach the top.

  6. Death. I am afraid of death and want to live forever. Eating crappy food and doing nothing puts you in that box fast. Working out and eating right allows you to live longer.

    Yes, there is still the chance to be hit by a bus but I'll take my chances.

    I also tell myself every morning that I may not win the race but it won't be from a lack of effort as I know my competition is not up at that time working as hard as me.

  7. Great post as usual! And I realize that you are trying to be humble, but there aren't that many people out there who are better runners than you. 13 marathons over 30 months is pretty nuts - and yours are all fast marathons.

    I push it when I'm tired because I want to give my best on that day, whatever that may be. I don't like to have any regrets when I get to the finish line. Also, after high school sports there aren't that many avenues to go all out in besides doing sports like running or something like that. It's an opportunity to push yourself to see how far and how much you can achieve.

    But most of all, I like how athletics makes me feel - the sense of accomplishment, pushing your body, and hopefully achieving new goals.

  8. There are many reasons, but some days (and this will sound selfish) it's just hearing the pride in my husband's or son's voice, when I overhear them telling someone, "Hey, my wife/mom woke up at 4:00 a.m. and ran __ miles today." I try to run when it doesn't affect my time with them, but that's hard to do sometimes. So, hearing those types of things helps me a lot!
    I run for those who can't, as well. Too many people literally CAN'T run or do anything because of illness, etc., for me not to get out there and keep my own body in shape.

  9. for me it is my boys. I want to be around for them for a long time. I am like Jason. I want to live a long life and I will do everything I can to make sure it happens. I also never want to be the girl I was 2 yrs ago.

  10. Great post, very motivational! I push it for me. I love seeing how much faster I can do, how much better I can feel while doing it. Thanks for sharing.

  11. All of the above - plus my kids - training and running a half marathon in every state is my way of showing my kids that we don't cower in the face of adversity - but use it to move forward, even if that means we need to change direction, strive to new heights and be the best we can be.

    Good Post!

  12. I've always had lousy self-confidence, so running for me is about proving--to MYSELF--that I can be "good" at something in this way, and not be a quitter of something just because it's hard for me. I'm good at some things because they are easy for me (school, for one, was always easy; writing was another). Not as satisfying as doing well at something you're NOT a natural at!

  13. Why do I keep going?? Let's see, it's because I'm afraid of being weak. It's what separates the "26.2 miles, why would anyone ever wanna do that!?" from the "26.2 because I can" crowd. Pain is only temporary.

  14. I run first & foremost for myself. It gives me a HUGE sense of accomplishment to do something I never thought I'd do let alone enjoy. I also like to hear the banter in the car after XC practice when i hear Thing 1 say "today my mum was better than us...she ran 20 miles". A big compliment from a 15 year old :)

  15. I keep going because I don't want to look the way I looked when I was 40. Older had only gotten better with exercise.

  16. I push myself because I want to get better. I want to be the best that I KNOW I can be.

  17. Staving off the decay of aging is one of the reasons. Pride. Not giving in to weakness.

    I can't really tell you why I continue past that point - there's no one reason.

  18. Love posts that make you think. I can relate to the oldest child sydrome. I have an inner competitve streak that drives me. I know I won't ever be a world record holder but I love the thrill of pushing myself and completing hard things. In the middle of tough workouts, thinking about the payoff is what gets me through.


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