This Saturday, Stephanie and I are running the Grand Island Trail Marathon. 26.2 miles of wilderness trails on an island off the coast of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s upper peninsula. As always the week before a big event, I’m feeling nervous, excited, and scared. There are always factors that can prevent things from going your way on race day…GI distress, bad weather (which is particularly rough when you’re running trails), injuries… Crossing the finish line will be a rewarding experience, and I can’t wait!
But, as is my normal M.O., I’m already feeling a bit sad that the end of this journey is in sight. So, last night I had my feelers out as I tried to figure out what I want to do next. It truly makes me a little uncomfortable to not be signed up and training for a race at all times. When I don’t have a plan, my training loses focus and I quickly fall off the fitness wagon.
So, after a little nudge from a friend earlier in the week, this is what my phone screen looked like last night…
I’ve been throwing around the idea of running a 50 Miler next summer. But then I started to think that my fitness is already at a pretty good level for a September 50 Miler. So, I posted this picture on Facebook last night to see if anyone had any resounding insight to sway my decision one way or the other. As expected, I got a few “Do it!” responses. But, the one that really got me thinking was from my mom. She wrote, “Yeah, but why?”
Ahhhhh…. That is the question. So, after some thought on that last night and this morning, here is part of the answer…
Because I can. Because there are thousands of people that would give anything to have that experience, but are burdened with bodies that are constantly battling pain and sickness, and I am blessed with a body that can face the challenges I put before it.
Because every endurance challenge that I face makes me stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. Doing scary, hard, challenging things gives me confidence, faith, energy, patience, peace, tolerance, endurance, passion, strength, and so much more.
All of my training and effort sets an example for my two boys of working hard to reach goals. That example will (hopefully) remain with them forever and carry over into their lives.
There are so many reasons why. I guess for me, the question really is, “Why not?”