Why do we push ourselves so hard as triathletes? Why do we spend our discretionary income hurting ourselves, mentally and physically?
What do we get out of it? What are we looking for?
I think the answers to all these questions and more change over time. We evolve from, "Because I want to know if I can do it," to, "Can I do it again?" to "How good can I do it consistently?"
But still, what's pushing us forward? Is it desire? Is it fear? Is there some outside inspiration that propels us, ala Livestrong? Does it come from within? I wondered that today as I was enduring a painful Graston Technique in my ART session where a cold, blunt metal device that resembled a boomerang was being thrust back and forth into what felt like my hip bone. I winced, grimaced and gripped the chair as I lay prone on my left hip.
Why am I doing this to myself? What am I trying to prove that's worth all this pain?
For me, that answer, and the motivation that comes with it, changes every day. It can be a song that fires me up. An inspirational story pushing me forward. An insult or jab from someone teasing me. My coach saying something positive to me. A trainer encouraging me to squeeze out one more rep.
But for every answer, there's a voice from within that says something. A voice speaking to me. "Go farther." "Try harder." "Push!"
And even on the ART therapist's table this morning amidst the pain and scowls, the only voice I really heard was, "Get better!"
Maybe that's what it's all about in this crazy sport. "Get Better." Become a better swimmer. Recover faster. Learn something new about yourself. Explore a new trail.
Getting better hurts. But I think the pain is necessary.
What do you think?
148 days and counting.