When I volunteered for the BR100 last year I remember one of the female racers saying, ""I've learned everything that I need to know about myself today." I remember feeling it once before.
What does not kill you, makes you stronger...right? At least that's whats said quite often.
I often think back to my first marathon when I was eighteen years old. I was searching to find myself. I found an escape in running. Whether I was on the road or trail it was my time to escape and forget about the stresses of life. It was about me and the road or trail. As the days approached for the January Rock N Roll marathon 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona I partially tore my Left ACL again which first took place March 2008. I went through physical therapy turning away from surgery for the time being with a grade II tear. Somewhere between 8-12 days before (I cannot recall for sure-my notes aren't clear) my knee had clear issues. I remember flying out to Arizona and being in pain. The next day I attempted a 2 mile jog at my Uncle/Aunt house in Scottsdale. There's nothing quite like breaking down on that run and thinking how am I going to do this. I came so far just to give up now.
My point of my rant is through endurance events, you can learn everything you need to know about your self and more. I mean you can truly get to the core of who you are. I think that's why I keep coming back for more.
I did end up running and finishing the Rock N Roll marathon. My knee pays the price quite now when my running mileage starts to get high. However I do not regret it. During that marathon-I felt every emotion humanely possible. From numbness with a hand full of advil before the start, race rage where I singled out a guy who yelled "Your almost there" somewhere around mile 10, and realizing at mile 26 that damn I am also there help solidify this race defining moment in my life. I did it. From then on, I figured if I can do that, hell I can do anything I set my mind too.
I have always dreamt of riding my bicycle across the US. In 90-something days I get to experience it and finding myself all over again. Bring it RAAM.
Endurance athletes are said to always be 'running' away from something...I have yet to figure that out. One thing is for sure. Running and cycling will always remand my escape.