What, I can't come up with a pondering post once in awhile that isn't about me?
7-8 years ago, when I was morphing myself from a muscular football and hockey player into a beer drinking and cake eating tub, running/triathlons/any hard form of exercise seemed so far off the map. I would scoff at the idea of ever running a marathon. A triathlon? You gotta be crazy. And 7-8 years ago, I knew maybe one guy that was into marathons. Sure, every now and then we all might go out and run two miles or something in college, but that's about it.
Fast forward to today. I am now a triathlete and consistent runner. My girlfriend is also a triathlete (thrice) and into running and cycling. And it seems every time I'm on Facebook, someone's status update involves them going for a 20 mile run. Or they are doing a triathlon today. Or they have pictures from the latest race they did. My question to everyone is this: is pushing yourself and testing the limits of your body the new cool thing to do?
Take my 3 best friends in college. We all had our own abilities and athletic prowess. Me for example, I was the strongest and best at football and hockey. My buddy Tim was a baseball player. Great at it. My buddy Eric, for how bony he was/is, was a tennis player, skier, and hockey player. Steve was a skier and distance runner/triathlete. Today, Eric is now a marathon runner, my buddy Tim completed a half-marathon yesterday and is slated to do Twin Cities in October, and I have my first triathlon under my belt, plus many 5K's and a 10K.
Here is what I have observed: marathon runners, triathletes, and the like are still held in high and crazy regard by the public. The majority of people out there have not done any sort of race. We as athletes probably notice more because that's who we associate with. Now, I have observed some people (especially females) who train for 3 weeks in a year, do a triathlon once, and call themselves triathletes. I personally don't like that or care for it. You shouldn't do these events because they are cool and hip and allow you to hold yourself in high regard. No, you should do these events for a reason. Whether that reason be for charity, helping others reach their fitness goals (Steve in a Speedo) or because you are passionate and like pushing the limits of your body.
Running and triathlons may be hip, but make sure you're doing them for the right reasons.