For the longest time, people have asked me why I run. I usually joke about really loving to eat and that part is mostly true. I’m a big fan of food. I also run for the health benefits and the stress relief. Lord knows, I can solve world hunger after a great run. Just call me the Running Mother Theresa. All of these are definitely part of the reason I run but after spectating at MCM I realized my number one reason for why I run: the finish line.
After MCM, I asked the S.O. how he felt crossing the finish line and with his tough race he wasn’t quite thrilled about it the way I normally am. No matter how craptastic I feel during a race, that finish line always produces the most euphoric, happy feeling, even if it’s only for a few seconds before I race to a porta potty or attempt to lie down on the street. (Both have happened.)
And when I say finish line, I mean, any finish line. I feel like a champion when I cross the line at a 5K or a marathon or a half ironman. The distance makes no difference to me. Granted, I get pride for the tougher ones, but to me, a finish line is a finish line.
I know the reason I love the finish line is because I’m a “gold star junkie.” This is a term I learned while reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s basically a craving for praise or recognition for work you do. I feel like racing is a positive way to get those gold stars.* I get to give myself a gold star when I cross a finish line. I don’t need to earn it from someone else. It’s mine. I finished that race. I earned that gold star.
To me, there is nothing better than crossing a finish line. Sure it’s nice to have people cheering for you but even at small races with only a handful of spectators at the end, it’s a great feeling. I can never fully put into words what running under that finish line feels like. I’ve laughed, cried, and danced my way through finish lines. I’ve been through finish lines with thousands of people and finish lines with five people but each and every finish line means I worked to get there. I set a goal and that word “finish” means I met that goal. Sure, sometimes those goals aren’t easy and they don’t exactly match up to what I wanted to do, but I finished and that’s the best feeling in the world.
So tell me, why do you run?
*Also crave gold stars? Check this out for some tips on making them positive.