Winning?, Health?, Attention and accolades?, Beer???
Having been around running and the fitness community for the majority of my life, it is very easy to see that many people do the same thing but, very few of them have the same reason for doing so.
As a runner, there are quite a few things that could provide motivation to lace up the shoes and get out there, day in and day out. If you stick around running (or any competitive sport) long enough, you’ll discover there are so many different types of runners, all with different goals and different ambitions.
Some runners, run strictly to compete..They HAVE to be competitive, whether it be in a race, or even against their training partners. Some runner’s do it for health, to fight back heart disease, weight gain or lathargy. Others run for the commraderie, the friendships and the social aspect. Some run to test their own limits, to see just how far they can go, how fast, how often..it becomes their own personal quest and journey. Some runners simply run to help others and to motivate. Then there are the ones who do it for ALL of the above reasons.
Personally, I think part of me can relate to and, at one point in time or other, I have been each of the various types of runner. For me, the biggest driving force has always been to help others, to try and be an ambassador for the sport of running and to teach and educate others on the ways of running and how great of a thing it can be, if used for the right reasons.
Sport, in and of itself (running or other), can be a wonderful tool to help promote change, promote peace, promote commanalities among the uncommon. In ancient times, wars were temporarily set aside and halted so that the greatest warriors could compete in athletic events (the orginal Olympiad).
As a coach and an ambassador of running, there are certain joys I get that I could never acheive just by going out on my own and running or racing. For me, I could care less if I ever win a single race, could care less if I get a trophy a medal or a mention in the local newspaper or Sports Illustrated, however, it does excite me and bring me joy to think that maybe I could be responsible for doing that for someone else. Trophies tarnish and newspapers get thrown away but, if you can impact someone’s life, they are likely to impact another and another and the chain builds..THAT will far outlast a trophy or newspaper column.
I know it may sound like *bullshit*, but I honestly get more joy from helping someone else do well in a race vs. me doing well in a race. Whether I am coaching a runner, pacing a runner or just shouting words of encouragement…my greatest victories have been when I have had a hand in helping someone else meet their goals and or exceed them.
It is certainly not possible to get the point across to all runners and or be able to help all runners but, if I can help get one person from the couch to an active lifestyle of running, put a smile on the face of one special needs child, who would otherwise never expereince the joy of running, without Team Hoyt, or, if I can help someone reach their greatest potential, be it an age group win, an Olympic medal or just completing a marathon and overcoming health issues, then, I will be happy knowing that I have done my job.
To me, running is a vessel of opportunity. I whole heartedly believe, that running can combat many health issues, it can create lifelong bonds of friendship, it can help unite the masses, it can provide hope, it can offer change.
In the Team Hoyt community, I have personally witnessed the effects of running on the human heart and mind. Children, who are more or less written off by society, or baffled by their doctors, come to life when they sit in that chair and race! Maybe they can’t communicate in the typical sense, but there is no doubt something magical happening every time they run a race.
For me, running has no climax nor will my efforts ever culminate into some grand ending. My mission of running is this: To reach out to as many people as possible, both directly and indirectly. If I can plant the seed, just one seed can create a forest!
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. Be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi
So, no matter your running goals or ambitions, from time to time, set aside your own aspirations and see what you can do to help other’s reach their aspirations.
Chances are, karma will shine through and your own running will be enhanced, simply by enhancing others! Sometimes the Running Gods’ work in mysterious ways!!