Like it is - According to Diane Disclaimer: This post was my idea, and I have NO idea where to start. I have already started the timer and I am 29 seconds in. What perspective will this post take – I honestly have no idea. Stay with me.
I am no stranger to racing. In fact, I did a race just yesterday. I’m 41 (holy shit!) and I have a race book that counts and recounts the 100+ races that I have participated in (I almost wrote competed in … but I changed my mind).
What is my WHY?
I ran my first 5k race in Colombia when I was 25 (or something). Finishing in 32 minutes and wanting to kind of puke (I may have been drunk the night prior) I was happy and felt like I had accomplished something.
* To feel sense of accomplishment.
After that, a friend asked if I wanted to race a triathlon. I had never considered this, but a friend had competed in duathlons back in St. Catharines (shout out Christine Turmain). I thought she was badass, and I wasnted to feel what it felt like to be a badass.
* To feel what if feels like to be a badass
I loved the triathlon, and signed up a year later … but almost drowned (that’s another story). So I quit triathlon for several years and only raced duathlons.
* To feel like what it feels like to be a badass when the search for that feeling scared you silly
When I moved to Brasil, I discovered Xterra races (cross country triathlon) and I wanted to compete so badly because I loved mountain biking and was curious about trail running. So I did. And panicked the entire swim while wearing a scuba wetsuit (the water drops on my goggles looked like monkey heads hanging off the trees). But I finished the race in 2nd place.
* To overcome and explore
I raced a ton on duathlons in Rio. And there was one girl, Tatiana Batista, who I was very clost to in terms of ability. Sometimes she was faster than I was, but sometimes I was faster than her. I raced her every single time we toed the line together.
* To compete
I was sitting on a white sofa when someone mentioned was an Ironman was. I was baffelled, and uttered the words, “I could neveNEVER do that!” I have heard a lot of people say the same thing.
In 2010 I raced a 1/2 Ironman on my birthday (and full moon). I still hadn’t overcome my fear of open water swimming but I did it, and finished wondering why I ever signed up. I wanted to both shit myself (literally) and puke at the same time. I did neither.
* To do a thing that is 1/2 way to a thing you thought you could NEVER do.
Within a month, I signed up for the full Ironman in Cozumel. Between that time and the Ironman, I would be forced to leave my job as I have a 5 year max., divorce, move, and start practicing yoga, and sprain my ankle very badly. Anyone who knows me, knows that my training is piecemeal, but that I bring it on race day. In 2011 I raced my first full Ironman.
* To do a thing you though you could NEVER do. * To redefine the word NEVER
Many of you know, I met my now-husband at the finish line of that race. Serendipity also gained a whole new meaning that day (Nov. 27, 2011).
These days, I race for different reasons: * I love the camaraderie * I like to see how I measure up to the other amazing individuals on the field * I LOVE to set an example for every single person around me * The adrenaline * The prep * The lifestyle
But the greatest reason of all, is simple.
If feels fucking good.
Like it is - According to Vail
I am no stranger to racing. There have been many triumphant moments in my life where I have crossed the finish line with a fist pump and a smile on my face. Whether it is a 5k or the finish of a half-ironman, the sensation of completing the race is thrilling and additive. I began racing in my early 20s and my desire to race has had its up and downs since then. I often joke now that I am in retirement, but to be honest when I finished a sub-60 minute 10k las May, I discovered that feeling and that drive still exists.
But why do we race? My sister once commented that she thought it was adults trying to relive their competitive sports past, but I think it is much more than that.
Racing, like lots of things in life, can serve as a metaphor for how we live our lives day by day. There are so many components to completing a race and each takes a special dedication or strategy to be able to find success.
The Training: Often there is a spreadsheet involved in making sure that you stay on track. This organization and desire to dedicate your time to the pursuit is probably the biggest challenge of a race. I am often told by people that they could NEVER run a race. However, I don’t believe this to be true. If there is a true urge to race, anyone can do it. Does it take time and sacrifice? Yes, but it is there for everyone.
Race Day: This is where the adrenaline kicks in and certainly at the starting line a racer feels invincible. With experience an athlete knows that he/she needs to rely on the training, rely on the heart and rely on that initial desire or intention. In the grit of the race, when legs are burning and you sometimes can’t catch your breath, it can be hard to access that original yearning to race, but that is where the work is done. In my experience, inevitably, something allows me to place one foot in front of the other.
The Finish: I really feel like there is nothing like crossing a finish line. It is a tangible sense of accomplishment. There is a sense of pride and also a sweet release. There are hugs, medals and usually beer.
A race is many things. It is organization, dedication, intention, adrenaline, heart, grit and accomplishment. No wonder it is addictive. If we did everything in life life we race, we truly would be invincible.