People ask me why do I run? Why do I do the Spartan races? Why do I do the Tough Mudder? Why do I pay upwards of $200 to torture myself for a day?
I do it to relieve the world of hurt I have experienced in the past year.
I do it because it enables me while I am runnig to think that there is nothing wrong with me.
I do it so I don’t do anything else that people do to relieve stress – drugs, sex, or work, eating.
I do it to make myself feel better
I put myself in a class of limited people which makes me feel better. There were only 10,000 people that did a Spartan Race in New Jersey, only one third of the registrants completed the race on Saturday. I was one of them.
I understand there may be more people that are healthier than me but I have achieved more, i have completed more races. I have done what people and friends thought was inpossible. It is like going to Harvard but not starting a business that changes the world.
I do it for change
I do it to make myself get out of my comfort zone, to be different, to not be just disabled but to be like the others that are on the course.
I do it to forget about my disability.
I do it because I get to take my hearing aids out and soak in what my eyes can see. The Spartan Races put you at the top of the mountain and it makes you feel so great knowing that you climbed up that high.
I do it to make myself think once again that there is nothing wrong with me, that everything is going to be okay. Running wipes the slate clean for me. It frees my mind.
I do it so I can get the negative voices or the demons as I call them out of my head for four hours.
I do it so I can find more ways to push myself even further.
I do it to make myself smile, there is not a single picture of me not smiling throughout the race even though I am in substantial pain.
I do it so I can believe in myself again, a couple of years ago I lost my mojo, I lost my happiness, I lost my will to be successful.
I have my mojo back now and I find it unfortunate that other people chose not to use it to make themselves feel better like I have.
People say you must love running and I laugh. I tell them the story that I never ran a mile until college with my freshman roommates. I saw right then and there how badly out of shape I really was. I played college baseball and running was my least favorite part. I played rugby, a game that requires 80 minutes of running and I hated it, I just wanted the ball so I could hit people. Three years after college in 2011, I could barely run a mile and I struggled to get to where I am today as well as where I could be on October 13th when I complete my first marathon. It is not the running that is hard, it is the habit that you have to forced onto yourself after being comfortable or set in your ways. It is the pushing yourself to the limits, it is experiencing that chance of failure and being happy by getting so close to failure but then exerting every last bit of energy that you have to jump over the obstacle at the last minute.
That’s why I run. I run with a purpose, to make myself better, to make myself be myself again and to put myself in the position where it is okay to be hurt again because you are trying.