When I crossed the finish line at the Providence marathon I was over the moon. I had run a personal best and the race had been an incredible experience. It really couldn't have gone any better. I found my family and hugged my girls as I cried a few tears of joy. I noticed my five year old looking a little skeptical throughout all the chaos. When the dust settled she tapped me on the shoulder and said, "so mom, did you win?" I laughed and said, "no, not today." I told her that in the big races, I would never be in first place but that wasn't why I did them. This answer was not enough. "If you know you won't win, then why do you race?" she asked. It was a fair question. Here's what I came up with:
Top 10 Reasons to Race (even when you know you aren't going to win):
1. It's fun to be a little competitive once in a while; with others and with yourself.
2. It reinforces several of life's valuable lessons such as:
- you don't have to win to have a good time
- always try and do your best
- there's always room for improvement
- it's ok to have a bad day
3. It's really fun to hang out with people who share a passion for the sport both before and after a race.
4. It's a great way to visit new places.
5. It's the perfect week-end activity for your family and/or friends.
6. It's an easy way to mix up your routine which is crucial to prevent boredom.
7. It's healthy to push yourself beyond your comfort zone once in a while.
8. It keeps your running wardrobe updated with new shirts of various sizes and colors.
9. Participating in a race often helps raise money for a good cause.
10. On race day, no matter what place you come in, you are a badass.
I didn't give her all of these answers. I simply told her that each time I race, it helps me get a little better....as a runner, as a mother and as a person. This still didn't make much sense to her, but she accepted it for the time being. As we were leaving she said, "good job, mom. I still love you, even when you don't win." Reason #11 - You might have a moment like this one.
Listen to this:
Walking the Dog - Fun.