Thursday, April 19, 2007


Bolder, your friend and mine, recently posed the challenge that those of us in blogland begin to address the “why” of what we do, rather than just the “what”. I love a challenge.

When I first started this, waaay back in December of 2006, I said that “Why is subjective, everchanging and unimportant.. . What is key.” I’m not sure I completely agree with that anymore. For me, the “what” has always been evolution, growth (not the kind that comes with a box of Ding Dongs and a couch – been there, done that, bought the frickin’ t-shirt). And for me, that “what” is also the “why”. Truly, the minute I stop evolving, y’all might as well just put me into the ground. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “arrival”, its always the journey. That would seem exhausting until you understand that the journey may be hardship, challenge, discomfort, and fear but it is also joy, exhilaration, accomplishment, and peace. All of those things shape us, refine us, bring us closer to becoming the person we are meant to be.

I’m not exactly sure why I chose triathlon (or why it chose me) for this particular stretch of my journey. I just know that this is my way – at least right now. I trust in Spirit enough to just go with it and see where it takes me. So far, its taken me some pretty amazing places.

I never considered myself athletic. I’m really not sure why – I was a very active kid, learned to ski when I was two, was the fastest kid in my third grade class, could jump farther than anyone in the fifth grade. I had a promising future in track and field as a middle schooler – but I just quit. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t good at sports. How strange, really. I’m sure there is a lot of soul and psyche searching to lead to the answer to that – not going to go there now. Instead, I go out there everyday, pulled by something greater than I am, and prove that I am athletic. Prove that I can do plenty of things I’d never dreamed I could. So it seems that part of my journey right now is busting down my own self inflicted limitations – debunking myths I made up about myself.

Its also about learning to be tough. I’ve been through some emotionally tough things in my life – sought those things out, really. – and proved to myself that I could handle just about anything life threw my way. Now its time for more enjoyable challenges – tough times that are fun times – like riding twenty two hilly miles on an actual road (with cars and everything), running until I think my lungs are coming out of my throat, and swimming until I’m sure I’ll sink to the bottom. Its all good times, even when I’m sweating and wanting to whine ( to nobody), and all of it makes me stronger.

That’s my “why” – at least the part that I can semi-articulate. What’s yours? Post a comment or put a link to your own blog with your own “why”. I’d love to hear what gets you out the door when part of you would rather sleep, what drives you to race and train and sweat and bleed and love this crazy-ass sport.


the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Go You!

I can totally relate. Seems like all the people I train this have been doing it their whole lives. I'm not one of those.

My Why: I do it because I love it.

Bolder said...

thought provoking.

i think i had an 'ah ha' moment that i've forgotten.

Ironman gave me 'shelter from the storm' last year.

but, there was a fire before... that you've re-lit:

while i'm reminiscing, i'll have to add it to (From my old blog 06/06/05)

jeanne said...

wow that was an awesome post. definitely thought provoking. maybe i should take a break from all the fooling around over on my place, and actually do some THINKING about why I do anything I do.

I love this: "The minute I stop evolving, y’all might as well just put me into the ground."

amen sister. it really IS the journey isn't it? You have given me a lot to ponder. thanks.

Vickie said...

The "why" is there every day, every race. There is no real answer. I ask myself why when I don't want to get up and go out in the dark and cold and still do, or when I am last in a race, and keep going. But since I keep coming back for more, the answer must be because it is a part of who I am, and I can no more stop to figure it out than I can to question myself. The only thing I have figured out is I feel lucky to be a part of this sport and the triathlon world and all the people in it.

a.maria said...

nicely said, woman. we definitely do all have our reasons. its crazy to hear all of our varied pasts and our different reasons why.

21stCenturyMom said...

I wrote mine a while ago but I'm not sure it really gets to the heart of things. It's a big part of it, though

Michael J said...

This is a great thread and I really spent some time questioning why I would inflict pain on myself unnecessarily. In a nutshell I simply love seeing how far I can push my body. To read more, see the following: Why do you do the things you do