Shortly after starting my run this morning, I found myself wondering “Why on earth am I doing this to myself?!?!?” I was at the 6-minute mark of my 45-minute run. It was a beautiful day – sun shining, hardly any wind – so it really was a great time to do a run.
I am not a great runner. I try, and I have been improving, but I’m still not a huge fan of running. So why on earth was I running, training for a 10k no less? What on earth possessed me to think that this was a good idea?
You might be surprised to find that the answer to that question has nothing to do with the cardiovascular benefits, overall health benefits, or even just the opportunity to get outside, though those are great side effects. The reasons I run are simple. I run for those I love and care about and because I want to be a better, healthier person for those who love me. I want to grow old with my wife. I want to know my grandchildren and have them know me, not just see me in pictures because I passed away too early. I don’t want my children to know the pain of losing a parent before their time.
I also run for my patients. I want to lead by example for them, show them what’s possible and that I’m leading the life I want them to live (that’s why I do my own core exercises weekly as well). I want them to know that I understand their training issues, whether it comes from just starting out or trying to extend your own personal distance.
I am also inspired by my patients and my loved ones. I want to be like my patient, who, in her early sixties, comes in stiff and sore from playing with her granddaughter at the park. It’s not her stiffness and soreness that motivates me, but rather that at her age she is literally going through child sized tunnels and down slides. That’s the type of grandparent I aspire to be. Thus, I run.
I am not saying everyone has to go out and run a 10k race to be healthy. You can do any sort of exercise or activity that you find enjoyable. Go for a walk, join a slow-pitch team, get a personal trainer, or go to the gym. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it gets you moving. If you have a hard time finding motivation for yourself, look around you. It’s not just your future that’s affected, but also the future of those around you. I have my motivation. What’s yours?