Updated: Apr 21, 2022
by David Bauerle
As endurance athletes, we have all been asked by non-athletes, "Why do you do what you do?" During one of my recent long runs, I was asking myself this question. I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject.
So why do I spend hours every week pushing myself to go farther and faster?
Is it because I want to find my limits?
Is it because I want to beat other competitors?
Is it because I want to stay fit and healthy?
Is it because I love the feeling of accomplishment after a hard workout?
Is it the social aspect of the endurance sports world?
Is it because I want to do something very few people have done or will ever do?
For me, the short answer to all of these questions is YES! I don't think there is only one reason we do the things we do; instead, it is a little bit of all of these things--and more.
I love pushing myself further on a race or workout harder than I thought was possible. I love the thrill of competition and seeing myself improve in the race standings. There are many things to love about staying fit and healthy.
I like the thought of doing something that very few people in the world have done or will ever do. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be trying to find my limits. Can I get faster? Can I go further? What am I capable of? This is my main motivational driver.
So what makes you get out there and push yourself? This is a topic worth thinking about. If you can determine what motivates you the most, you can maximize your training/racing around that motivating factor. For instance, if you are mostly motivated by the competition, then race often. If you're inspired by the social aspect of endurance sports, then join a club or two.
Basically, find your "Why" to keep yourself motivated!