The Pressing Question of “Why?”

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It’s a question we get a lot in this lifestyle, it’s a question I even ask myself from time to time when putting in the hours. Take this past weekend for example, I gave up a day of leisure on Saturday to drive an hour and half away just for a run. Yes, the distance fell perfectly in line with my current training schedule, an 8 mile run was already on the agenda for the day, but I could have easily just ran out my door for the distance and saved myself time, gas money, and race fees. All conventional logic would have had me doing so as well, since it was a chilly day with gloomy overcast that brought chances of rain and the trail was going to be completely saturated with a horrendous mix of mud, ice, and water after the Midwest had just been ravaged by the polar vortex.

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I was exaggerating about the mud

I finished the race miserable; my legs coated in thick mud, and the cold air only felt worse when the sweat saturating my clothes started to chill as my body heat decreased. I started the drive back home knowing that in less than 12 hours I’d be back on the road in the wee Sunday morning twilight for another, and this time longer, trip and even more punishment joining the Spartan Race workout tour as they made a “local” stop. It was at that point on the drive through the pre-dawn darkness Sunday, trying to stay awake on such little sleep and feeling the aches of yesterday’s battles along that trail and knowing that this day had not even begun, that I once again found myself asking, “why?” This just isn’t what normal people do. Normal people do not voluntarily give up all comforts for challenges. They do not raise their hand and say that they’ll take pain over leisure.

And here it is; the answer to the ever-pressing question of “why?” Why do I put myself through so much torture? Why do I go the extra step when the world around me stays apathetic? Why do I go on when my body is telling me otherwise? Why, why, why?

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Because life otherwise, leaves me numb.

This is beyond a shadow of a doubt my answer to the “why?” It is so rare in this world that we get to truly feel alive. We’ve lost our sense of self; wrapped up in a world of safety, comfort, and routine. We’ve become, in essence, lifeless robots, so content to just exist in the world. I long to be something more, day to day life bores me. Feel free to ask my family, more than a day without strenuous activity and I’m ready to tear down the walls.

Food for thought:

“Every man lives, but not every man truly lives” – William Ross Wallace

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Everyone at Sunday’s workout. I’m on the right next to the man with blue compression sleeves