Why do we do the things that we do? Does there always have to be a reason?
My 2 year old has started to ask why all the time.
“We need to put on some sunscreen”
“So we don’t get a sunburn”
“It’s bed time!”
“So we can get lots of rest, it’s important!”
It’s a genuine curiosity and it’s amazing to see the inquisitive nature she shows. Then one day, the question got a bit tougher to answer.
“Okay, Daddy’s heading out for a run!”
Why…Why…Why. Why do I run?
I’ve heard many times that it’s important to “Find Your Why?” But to be very honest, I struggle with what that means. Maybe my why is just lost. Sometimes I think I’ve found it. That I’ve found some magic reason that makes sense as to why I run. Why I head out at 6:00 am to run a workout. Or why I push myself to the point of exhaustion on the days when I have a full day of work ahead of me. Or why I train for another race if the last one that I ran went so poorly.
Then, there are other times when that why that I thought I found just doesn’t seem to make sense. It sounds almost too cliche. Too perfect.
Maybe though, it’s not about finding ONE why. Maybe that is just too narrow a thought. Maybe it’s more about finding MANY whys. And the right why for the right day. The right why for the right situation.
Some days, I can see an ultimate goal in mind: qualify for Boston. And that thought fuels me to tackle a hard workout. Because without that motivation, seeing that unicorn medal in my mind, I don’t have the same drive to get up and go in the early morning. Maybe on these days, getting to Boston one day is my why.
Other days, maybe it’s for my family. To show my daughter that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. To prove that if you are dedicated enough and just show up to do the work, good things will come to you. Maybe on these days, trying to be an inspiration to my child is my why.
And on some days, maybe it’s simply routine. Running is not always some magic getaway that provides me clarity or meditation. But rather, maybe it’s simply because it is what I always do. And a break in routine throws me off my schedule. On these days, keeping my routine is my why.
Finding your why and really thinking hard on this can be difficult. It can give runners a lot of pressure, I know. I’ve felt it too. But, to me, this frame of mind is easier to accept. Why’s may change just as we as runners and as people grow and evolve.
I don’t think my why is lost, but maybe it has just found a few other whys to hang out with. Maybe that’s my team. And when I need a why, I can look to my squad and find one to put in the game. Then me and my why will head out on a run together, and maybe we’ll pick up a new why along the way; there’s plenty of room on our team.