Saturday, May 19, 2018

Racing Happy And The Secret of Life

In the June 2018 issue of Runner's World, there is an excellent article by extreme distance and obstacle course racer Amelia Boone. Her list of accomplishments are beyond impressive, but then she crashed with an injury. She is on her way back to the top, and shares what she has learned, thanks to the injury, is the secret to running and the secret of life:

I am not afraid to fail anymore. I spent years winning race after race, and wondering why I still wasn't happy. Why the more I won, the less fulfilled I felt. I kept waiting for the time when the winning would finally fill me up, without realizing the winning was never going to be enough. No number of wins on earth would make me happy. I was missing the point all along - to embrace the things that truly brought me joy: the pursuit, and the sharing of that pursuit with others.

Now I know how important it is to keep that gratitude at the front. Whenever I'm having a rough day of training, feeling overwhelmed, or some little niggle pops up, I think, "Amelia, you get to do this." Before the injury, it was "I have to do this." It centers me every time.

I wouldn't wish injury on anyone, and I would never want to go back through that process again. But in a weird way, I think it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't know what's next. But I know that right now, today, I feel fantastic. I have never been in a better place in my relationship with running.

Most of can't relate to winning every race, but if we change the pursuit of winning to the pursuit of decreasing time goals, we realize we are all in the same boat. Point is, while having these goals are important, achieving them will not truly make you happy. Chasing them can, however.

So set lofty goals. But the best way to achieve them is to invest yourself in the present moment, embrace the process and share your journey with others. That is how you will truly run happy. Moreover, it is the secret to life.

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