Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why Bother?

So, people have asked me why I bother with this whole athletic thing! I sometimes wonder that myself especially when considering this:

1) Being athletic is NOT cheap. If you are a runner, you need a good pair of running shoes (unless you are a barefoot runner), insoles (if you have my feet), good socks, the right clothing, a good sports bra and nutrition if you are running long distances. And then there are the races, oh the cost of races! I have a rule, I will not pay more than 10 dollars per mile for a race... If you are a cyclist, there is the bike, bike clothes and shoes, helmet, nutrition, cost of rides, tubes, tools, and so on. Then swimming? Oh boy, the swim suit, gym membership, locks for your locker, towel, goggles. My guess is that my athletic wardrobe alone is worth a couple thousand dollars, and then the bikes and swim suits. It makes me want to get sick when I think about all of the money that went into this hobby...

2) Your heart only has so many beats. This is one of my uncle's favorite sayings. He asks why would I waste my heart beats on intense exercise? Kind of a good point if you believe this philosophy (hint: I don't).

3) And then you have your knees if you are a cyclist and/or runner. So many people wonder why you would make the choice to damage your legs by running so much!

4) And who could forget the laundry. So, at the peak of my training this summer, I anticipate being on my bike 4-5 days a week, running 3-4 days a week and swimming 2-3 days a week. That basically means a towel, swim suit, 4 cycling outfits and 3 running outfits that need to be washed every week. Probably two loads of laundry, on top of work clothes 5 days a week and casual weekend clothes twice a week, and sheets.

5) Oh, and then you have the possible injuries. I had a stress fracture and PF that was so bad I ended up having to doctor and do PT. Those doctor's appointments and PT appointments were enough to break the bank!

Just reading all of that back exhausts me and makes me think twice about my decision to be an athlete, and then I remember this:

1) I have met the most amazing people and the most solid friends as an athlete.

2) Crossing the finish line of your first 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, half iron man, marathon, etc. is the most exhilarating experience.

3) Needing workout clothes on a daily basis actually makes me think about the need to do all of my laundry. If there wasn't a need for my favorite running shorts on Saturday, I might choose to not do laundry for a couple of weeks.

4) The bonding I have with my siblings (or nephew, or cousin) over these events is a gift. I mean, seriously, my sister and I have done race after race together... My other sister got me to even enjoy using my body to propel myself forward and my brother has made me love cycling! Not to mention, we are all going to come together for two days to ride our bikes 150 miles. I mean, how many families can say that they met all of their siblings in Ohio to take a bike ride. Again, an awesome gift.

5) The most important reason I embrace my athleticism is this, I can do it... I refuse to take for granted the days I wake up and can move my arms, my legs, my body! Not everyone can run a block, let alone 13 miles... and some day I might not be able to do these events, so I may as well go all out and do it while I can.

I think this is really me talking myself into re-entering the world of the half iron man next year... Why not, right?

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