|My YakTrax, I bought them last year and a great tool for snow/ice covered roads|
So many times I hear runners say, "Man, I don't wanna do this long run today", or "I can't imagine getting through this speed session on these legs", or "I'll just be so glad when this marathon training is over". I've probably even murmured these words a couple times or two. Of course we're all going to be tired or lacking motivation from time to time. On some days, I literally can't imagine making it through the first mile. But somehow, almost always, by mile two or three, I'm loosening up and starting to get a little bounce in my step. And once again, I'm enjoying "practicing" my sport.
Not wanting to practice, of course, goes way beyond running. I was a three sport athlete in high school, and played baseball in college. Regardless of the sport (football, basketball, or baseball), I can remember guys standing around whining about having to stay for practice after school. Man ... I freaking loved it! You had to kick me out of the gym. In fact after baseball practice, I would often go home and practice pitching against an old shed behind our house for hours. For the kids who had parents that "made" them play sports, I completely understand not wanting to be out there. But for all the rest of us, I could just never understand why these guys didn't love this stuff.
The love of "practicing" my sport obviously is partly driven by wanting to improve. It's a desire to repeat the drills over and over, that make me stronger and faster. It's studying running techniques and training methods to hopefully sharpen a certain area. And it's tracking the progress and constantly comparing myself against myself to measure the growth. I'm kinda nerdy and obsessed with it. But it also just comes from a genuine love of running. Out of all the things out there, I choose this activity to fill up a large portion of my free time. So why would I complain about it? Complain ... heck, I can't get enough. I sometimes think, "Wow, I could really improve if I didn't have to work!" I could just spend all day trying to improve as a runner. But then we'd be much poorer - and I guess there'd be no money for races.
NBA great, Allen Iverson, once famously went off in an interview about missing a few of the team's practices. He kept repeating, "Practice?!?!?! We talkin' about practice???" He was trying to make the point that the games are what really matters. Of course, everyone loves game day, or in our case, race day. But loving "practice" has just always been a natural extension of my love for the sport, and hopefully keeps me interested, focused, and with a passion to improve. It's a daily escape from everything, almost like a celebration of good health. And even if there weren't any games ... or races ... I'd still probably be out there putting one foot in front of the other ... just practicing.
Oh by the way, I finally got a Facebook page for my blog. I'm not sure why, because until this weekend I wasn't on Facebook at all. So I really only have a vague idea of how Facebook works, and really no idea what I'm supposed to do with a page for my blog. But it might come in handy at some point I suppose. Michael said to ask everyone to "like" my page, which I think just means you stop by and hit the "like" button ... other than that, I'm not really sure of the significance. Any, the pace can be found here ...
Thanks and have a great week!
... be great today!