Someone asked me later how the race went and I told the above story. Their response was “I bet you regretted that decision to race”. My answer, “absolutely not!”
I realized from that response that some people just don’t understand why I exercise or do what I do and that is totally okay. Why do I exercise and subject myself to these situations where I feel like I am pushing my body past its known limits to finish something I started? The simple answer is because I enjoy it. I love the feeling of knowing that my body can do amazing things if I give it the proper training. I love feeling the strength in my body that I know I have. It is also a time for me. I enjoy the rhythmic nature of a steady swim and quietness it brings focusing on my breath. I clear my mind and recharge on long runs. I find joy riding my bike and seeing beautiful views and areas I may not otherwise drive.
To me, exercise is not a punishment it is a reward. So for every hard swim where I feel like my heart is going to leap out of my chest, for every run where my quads say stop and every hill I climb on my bike that makes me push harder, I say bring it! It makes me feel strong, powerful and confident in myself knowing that I can do this.
That is my why. What’s yours?