Today, I faced a tough question. A question that sends all runners back to the drawing board to re-evaluate their motives in life. I faced it in a physio room from one of the X Women Rugby players. The question came in a discrete, subtle form. Little did she know, it made my heart skip a beat. As she was looking at my muscular legs opposed to my scrawny upper body, my short shorts split all the way up to the waist, my calves splattered with dirt, and my sweaty, rain-stricken hair, she asked, matter-of-factly : Why do you like running?
She wasn't expecting a 20 second pause. Nor was she expecting the answer that was flowing through my mind. I could have told her that I like the feeling of finishing a hard workout as much as I hate the feeling of missing one altogether. I love the feeling of getting into shape as much as I hate the off-season. I love winning a race almost as much as I hate losing one. I love being able to get away with eating a bit of junk food by writing it off as 'carbo-loading. I love meeting people through the sport, I love the opportunities the sport brings. I realize that I cannot recall one time during training that I did not have at least one part of my body sore, but I also realize that without the aches and pains of running, I feel empty. I love the commitment associated with running, I love the improvement that it brings. It's a part of me that I can't live without.
I didn't feel very philosophical, and didn't want to go into brutal detail with the rugby team, so I came up with a much simpler answer.
'If you had to ask, you won't understand'