Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday mud race and the future of blogging

So first off thanks to everyone who pitched in on my question hunt for this Sun. I got some good ones lined up and I can't wait to start editing video when I should be preparing to defend my thesis. Just asking for input brought up some questions of my own, partially brought on by the nature of the questions people suggested.  What gets you out of bed? How does running a mudder get applied in your life?

My mom used to tell this story about her time in the peace corps in Brazil. In the story she shows up as a small town Indiana girl in the middle of the dust bowl of a foreign country and has no idea how she's going to cope. She decides that she's going to commit to making her bed every morning. The act of making her bed becomes a ritual and a kind of daily self affirmation. She tells herself that if she can make her bed every morning she can do any of the other things she needs to do that are daunting and overwhelming.

I always thought I knew what she meant and figured it became a ritual that was comforting and helped get her day started. A race is like this: people look at what you're doing and understand that it's an accomplishment to add to your belt and something to talk about, but there's more to it. When you commit to something like this you have no choice but to get yourself up and train. I get up and follow my training program because I've committed.  I commit to the race so I'll have to train for it.

The thing is, as soon as I've relinquished control by deciding that I'm not going to give myself excuses, not going to sleep in, not going to skip runs or whine, everything changes. There's a point where it becomes a mission. Sometimes I have to dedicate my training day to someone or something to convince myself it's worth it, with a mudder like this Sunday I think about the fact that much of the money goes to the Wounded Warrior Project, I think about my mom making her bed, or old lost friends.

What gets me out of bed in the morning is not just a love of running but a desire to finish the mission. The mission changes from day to day but the greater goal is to do something worthwhile that helps me to be a better man and father, have a better story to tell, jump the next fence and not give in to my lesser demons.

I hope I don't get any answers like that when I'm asking on Sun, I'll run out of memory fast, but that's some of what I have to say on the subject. The goal is really important for me. I can't just do it because I'm doing it, I have to have a point at which I'll be able to assess my progress and my commitment. At that point I just sign up for another.

Here are the questions I think:

1. Why would you do this to yourself?
2. What got you out of bed to train for it?
3. What hurts right now?
4. What does this event do to make your life better?
5. Where would you be if you weren't here?

Thanks again everybody. The videos are going to be awesome and I'll post some pictures from the fleabag hotel I'm staying in the night before.
Good living, people!

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