Thursday, July 21, 2011

Because I Can

There are a lot of reasons I run. I've already talked about how I find it relaxing, it helps me feel energized, I like the challenge, I like the alone time, I like the community of runners, I like spending some time with Liz, I like feeling strong and healthy. But the most basic reason I run is because I can.

George Mallory was once asked, "Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?" He famously replied, "Because it is there."

I already talked about how running gives me a very defined sense of mortality... I know I won't be able to do this forever. But that's one of the reasons I run so much. Because I still can.

"Runners are much more in tune with the winding-down process...  ...Your average citizen these days isn't that connected to the physical realm. Builders, farmers, your grandfather probably was more than most. In an older time, with say manual agriculture or hunting-gathering, you always knew how much less you could carry than a year ago. Or how much less far you could ride or walk. Believe me, when dinner depends on running game to ground, you notice pretty quick when it starts to get harder....  ...Modern civilian though, things happen too slowly to notice. Jeeminy, when did the basement steps get me wheezing? Am I old or just out of shape? And if you were never in shape, is there any difference?...  ...Whereas we can just watch ourselves slowing down like there's a gauge on the dashboard...  ...People don't realize what it's like to be in a sport where you can compare yourself so easily with guys in Europe, guys in Africa. Or even with guys from a different generation. Or with your own younger self." -- Bruce Denton in Again to Carthage by John L. Parker, Jr.

This week seems to be filled with reminders of how fortunate I am to have my health and the ability to pursue my goals.

My Dad died of a heart attack 5 years ago. It was sudden and unexpected. In the morning he was here and that night, he was gone. Last Friday, a friend of mine lost her father to cancer. I went to the visitation Monday night at the same funeral home as my Dad's wake. It was the first time I had been back to that building and I was flooded with memories of the days after he died. We never know how long we have, so I try to make the most of my time.

Then Sportscenter of all things tugged at the ol' heartstrings this week. They're doing special segments in conjunction with the Make a Wish foundation. So far, I've seen a 16-year-old boy with a blood disorder who has had multiple surgeries and a stroke that left him with limited functioning over the left side of his body. He was able to meet and play catch with Tim Tebow.

Today, an 8-year-old with leukemia met professional surfer Bethany Hamilton in Hawaii and learned to surf. Not only is the 8-year-old battling cancer, but Bethany Hamilton lost an arm in a shark attack and is still surfing professionally. How can I not get up off of the couch after seeing that?

Heck, even the Old Man in the green shorts (today they were blue) gets out in the heat for a walk!

Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's humid. Yes, I enjoy sleeping in. But I also Love running and cycling and swimming and challenging myself. Right now I can do those things. So I do.

Goal For The Day: Middle Distance.
Distance: 6.00 Miles.
Time: 43:13. 7:12 Avg. (7:25, 6:44, 6:54, 7:05, 7:18, 7:43).
Route: Kircher Park Loop.
Conditions: 85 degrees/humid. 7:15AM.

Notes: I saw the Old Man again. He does, in fact own different shorts! Today felt pretty good. Starting to find my rhythm again. Heat was getting to me in the last mile, but still manageable.

Daily Miles: 6.00 Miles.
Blog Totals:
  Run - 120.72 Miles.
  Bike - 67.68 Miles.
  Swim - 4,450+ meters.


  1. Thanks for your comments Brad! That sure gives me motivation to keep going!

  2. One more inspiration. I know a boy (still in middle school) who has a progressive disorder that has caused blindness. This year was his third year to compete in a triatholon here in Decatur.

  3. I forgot to tell you, but I saw your old man yesterday too. He was running up the end of the parking lot by El Nopal when I drove by. I wasn't sure if it was him, but he was wearing blue shorts! :)

    PS- I tried to comment on Nikki's blog and it gave me the same problems about signing in. Weird.