Why We Run – Day #3

Now that you’re on day 3, let’s talk about this wonderful venture you are on. You are a runner, and you should be proud. You have ventured into the territory of what marketers call ‘the launch.’ You are shipping your product – for you have stepped into the unknown with a greater faith than you were willing to express just a week ago. You are on your way — and you are doing something remarkable.

So, let’s reflect for a moment – why do this? Why run? And why everyday? I will take these questions each in turn and hope that you are inspired to get back out there for your next run afterwards.

Why Run?

I am currently listening to Dean Karnazes book “UltraMarathon Man” and there he ponders this same question. If you don’t know who Dean is, check out this video.

For more on Dean, click here and click on any one of the videos! You are sure to be inspired. Dean is perhaps the craziest runner you will come across – but what I like about him is his no-nonsense dedication to hard work.

But back to our question: why run? As Dean points out in his first book, we can respond as did Sir Edmund Hilary when asked why he climbed Everest: “Because it’s there.” This actually suffices for me. Run because you can. Because the roads are there. Because there are miles to run. “Miles to go before I sleep” to quote Robert Frost. But let’s eek out one more answer for your arsenal when someone asks you why you have run 100 days in a row — or, eventually, 1000! My response looks like this: “I run because running is my freedom, my solitude and my joy. I run because I can. I run to see how far and how fast I can go today. I run.” Maybe there is no satisfactory answer. What is yours?

Secondly, Why Run Everyday?

This is actually easier to answer than why we run in the first place. We run everyday because the sum, the cumulative gains – physical, mental and spiritual – far exceed the individual parts. In a sense, we create meaning through linking each day’s run to the streak. The daily runs gain importance. And we, too, build character through the commitment to discipline and through the act of daily fulfilling the goal we have set.

A brief aside and I will let you get back to your next run and to thinking about your own answers to these questions. I was at a dinner party one night and we were discussing running and somehow my streak of then about 900 runs came up. A guy at the table, upon hearing about my streak, said: “That’s impossible. There’s no way you could have run everyday for 2.5 years straight. I refuse to believe it. It cannot be done!” Basically, he was saying that I was lying about my streak. I told him clearly that I had completed every run, honestly. Still, he refused to believe. And so this is another — maybe getting to the key — reason that I run daily: I want to do ‘the impossible.’ This is the dream of humanity, I believe – we need to impute eternity into our humdrum lives. We want the extraordinary to break in and surprise us. By committing to and completing the ‘impossible’ goal, we share in the essence of the human spirit. We become what we can be.

Okay — get out there and do the impossible!

~Coach Reed