Sunday, March 20, 2011

Challenge Yourself

I spoke with someone the other day who I used to run with about 25 years ago. He lamented how he had just sort of gotten out of running in order to advance his career. Steve was an excellent runner blessed with natural footspeed and an ability to run lots of mileage. He had raced two or three marathons in the 2:30's but began to experience recurring sciatic problems. This was probably as much a reason for his giving up running as was his desire to further his career.Steve was in his late 20's when he quit and was now starting to get back into it. He told me that he should have listened to his body when his physical problems began and then backed off. He went on to say if he would have done so he could have continued to run all these years. The good thing that came out of his experience was that he has rediscovered his love of running. Steve said,"I became too goal oriented,I wanted a sub 2:30 marathon so badly I became obsessed, that obsession totally overcame the reason I started running in the first place."
What Steve had to say got me thinking about the need for us to periodically look at and re- evaluate how our running is progressing. I am not only speaking about being preoccupied with performance and the potential problems it can cause,that's been addressed enough in other posts. No, the questions that need to be asked are: are we letting our prime running years pass by without pursuing personal goals and aspirations? Are we in a rut or state of complacency as it relates to our running? Are we hesitant to committ or accept a new challenge? Are we dismissing the possibility of doing so because we don't want to leave our comfort zone and venture into the unknown? As Yiannis Kouros once said: " an ideal life is one that presents challenges."
May we resolve today to challenge ourselves'.


  1. I find myself being very motivated by specific and difficult goals, but often lose sight of the sound of my footsteps along the way. The sound as in the simple joy of running. The desire to build and break down new thresholds is what motivates me at the end of the day.

  2. You are so right--unless perhaps you achieve Olympic gold--all the medals,etc. are never better than a lifetime of-- as you put it--the simple joy of running.One of the things that shocked me early on was the fact that alot of people who do really well in running don't always love the sport,it's just something they are good at. As I've gotten older most of my running goals have become non-competitive--this gives me the occasional push I need to do more and also to look forward to something.