Sunday, August 18, 2013

Training is for "Life"

Saturday I drove into town to run the only flat, non-leg irritating loop we really have. On my way, I passed a runner, hard at work, and we made brief eye contact as I drove toward the center of the road to give him lots of room. Later on my run, I saw the same fellow. There was just a really joyful energy about him that made me take notice. Having been perhaps rightly accused of having a bit of a "chit-chat" compulsion, I sped up to say hi. I told him I'd seen him earlier and figured it was a long run. He replied that he was doing 12 miles, so I asked the most logical next question:

"Oh, what are you training for?


That totally threw me for a loop. It was not the response I was expecting, and somewhat shamefully, not one I would think to say. But when you get right down to it, isn't that truly why we do things like running and triathlon? We race and train for the lessons they teach us about life - struggle, faith, strength, persistence, compassion, and relationships. Sports show us who we really are and give us the experiences that allow us to become more of who we want to be. Swimming, biking, and running provide time away from the distractions of the world to ponder life's larger questions.


What a powerful response in just one word! The runner and I exchanged some "have a good run" sentiments and parted ways. But I continued on, with a new perspective and a giant smile on my face, knowing he had it exactly right.

So what are you training for?