Some people may consider me addicted to working out, and this is an accusation I will not refute. My lifestyle has definitely changed over the course of the last couple of years, and I am thankful to have found a new hobby that I truly love. Some may call it obsession, passion, addiction, even crazy, but whatever it may be, I have it, and I am perfectly fine with that.
The realization came to me this past week when I was told that it was a bit insane that I’m running an obstacle race next weekend, twice. Yup, both days, and I’m super excited! I’ll be running Saturday with a girlfriend of mine, and am heading back Sunday for the 1st heat of the day to race competitively.
It didn’t occur to me that this may seem strange to many people. It didn’t occur to me that the majority of people would rather sleep in on their weekend days rather than get up to run a race, and that they sure as heck would not choose to get up both weekend days to run the same race! It kind of hurt my feelings when comments were made to that effect, because my brain does not realize that my decision to run as many races as I do, to train as much as I do, and to strive for the results that I do may strike others as odd.
This realization also brings me some resolve. You see, I’m an adrenaline junkie. I live for thrills, get bored extremely easily, and am always looking for the next best thing, no matter what that may be. This personality trait, in the past, has gotten me into trouble, as I always feel the need for a new adventure, but it also ultimately brought me where I am in life today as well.
My need for thrills and excitement led me to get married way too young, which ultimately lead me to a divorce two short years later. It lead me through major issues with alcohol that I used to drown my personal insecurities and ignore my depression and self loathing. It coaxed me into making inebriated decisions that would cripple my self esteem the next day a I recounted the actions of the previous night in my head. The more I longed for excitement, the worse decisions I made, and the more I ended up regretting. The cycle was horrible, extremely self destructive, and I ended up pushing a lot of people away.
It’s not all bad though. My constant longing for adventure lead me to decide to make a big move from Michigan to Florida almost 6 years ago. It gave me the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage, to start a new life, and to move on from years of hurt and anger I’d been holding on to.
Granted, I’m not perfect, and I still mess up on occasion, but I’ve come a long way. I can credit this positive movement to my husband who I met when I moved to Florida, who has a ridiculous amount of patience and love for me, and initially saved me from my crazy downward spiral (I’m no good on my own, hot mess is the word that comes to mind), to my amazing son, the love of my life, and also to my new found love of running.
How does running save me? It gives me something to strive for. It challenges me. It makes me want to be better, in all aspects of life.
My particular love of obstacle racing is due to the love of the unexpected, the thrill of being challenged mentally and physically, and the desire to better myself in hopes of becoming an inspiration to others.
So instead of being crazy for running a race twice in one weekend, I consider myself alive, healthy, happy, accomplished, and so much better than I once was. And for that, I’m not worried about what anyone else thinks. I hope that more people make the decision to be crazy like me instead of to drown in the type of addiction that will ruin a life, not save it.
I got up at 6:30 this morning, on a Sunday morning no less, and ran 7 miles. It felt amazing, I loved every minute of it. As much as running can hurt or feel like a chore some days, it feels so much better than a day spent hungover. Give it a go sometime if you haven’t yet, you may just have a real breakthrough.
So I’m living my life to the fullest each day and loving it to the max, it was a long time coming, but its nice to have finally arrived.
(I must add a side note. I still love a fun ladies night out on occasion, I truly enjoy a good wheat beer, and I’m sipping a margarita as I write this. The difference? I now have restraint where I once did not. Hey, I’m still a fun loving gal who happily grabs my free beer at the end of my obstacle races! Nothing wrong with that 🙂 )