Motivation can be a strange thing…sometimes all you can think about is getting out there and running while the next day you are dreading your workout. Everyone has motivational ups and downs, it’s part of this sport we all love. I recently just went thru one of those motivational lows but by taking a step back, analyzing my goals, and thinking of the incredible running community that inspires me got me back on track.
I am sure that many people assume my motivation comes from the desire to emulate world-class American runners like Meb, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Symmonds, Kara Goucher, or any of the other elite Americans. For the large part that isn’t true. Yes the athletic ability of these people is unreal but the desire to be fast is a small part of my motivation: the majority comes from the everyday, average runner.
One of the most motivating groups of people, to me, are the moms and dads, who even with their family responsibilities, full time jobs, and general household duties still manage to get runs and workouts in. It amazes me that these people are able to balance that and train for a 5k let alone the dozens I know that run FULL MARATHONS! What blows my mind even more are the single moms and dads who are out there training for and running distance races. All I have to take care of is myself and a dog and some days I think a run might not fit into my schedule. Until I think of these people…they really inspire me to stop making excuses and get out there run.
That person just starting out in running, getting hyped about it, going thru the successes and failures is always someone I look at with admiration. I know running: what to expect, what to do, how hard to push myself. These people new to running bring a completely new energy and almost childlike awe at what their body is able to overcome. There are few things I enjoy more than talking to a person who is about to/just has run their first race. I have run 100s of races, I know what to expect. The people who are at their first race bring that infectious energy, a million questions, nerves, fear of the unknown, and all sorts of other things to the start line. When you see these same runners at the finish line they are completely overjoyed with their accomplishments and already thinking of their next (and longer) race…seeing that is what running is about for me.
This crowd has been running since before running was cool. No way around it these people are just badass. Usually wearing old school windbreaker suits and a race shirt from the 70s these are the type of people I hope to become. Someone who has run for 30, 40, even 50 years and still loving the sport.
It’s true the desire to push myself harder and improve my performance is something that motivates me. I have done what I think is a little tacky but after years in a box all my awards, trophies, and soon medals hang in my living room. Seeing this reminder every day of what I have accomplished reinforces the goals I have set and keeps me hungry to prove to myself that I can attain them.
So no matter what motivates you hold onto it and chase those dreams, whether it be in running or life.