Friday, November 9, 2007

Why do you do that to yourself?

Have you ever been asked that or some form of that question when you talk about triathlon or running? And really it applies to any distance although the longer the crazier any many people's eyes.

Some friends, family and coworkers really seem to be in awe in what I am trying to achieve but wouldn't even think or want to join me.

Others have been inspired and started running 5K's. (And that just truly rocks)

When it comes down to it, the question "why do you do that to yourself?" kinda saddens me!

You may know that I am a Registered Nurse! I see the worst of what happens when someone has a lifestyle that makes them prone to being in an ICU.

Now, its true that healthy people end up in the ICU as well. But there is no doubt that there is a correlation between lifestyle, fitness and length of stay in ICU. This correlation also exists for quickness of complete recovery as well as avoidance of other complications.

Now, I don't think that triathletes, runners, cyclists or any endurance sport participants are better people than non-endurance sports participants.

But I do think that it would be better as a society and individually if the question was turned around to the non-fitness questioners.

Why do you do that to yourself?

Why do you allow yourself to gain weight?, become obese and/or hypertensive?

Why do you allow yourself to have behaviors (or lack of) that contribute to diabetes, heart cancer, colon cancer, and premature death?

Why don't you participate in physical activity that reduces feelings of depression, anxiety and that helps to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints?

Why don't you promote your own well-being?

Why do you do that to yourself?

I am not being judgmental here! It's not about that! I am no better of a person than a someone who does not regularly exercise.

Plus it would be a bit hypocritical of me. I just really started this year and I'm 40!

I just think that our society needs a shift in attitude! No one should be asking me "why do you do that to yourself", it should be asked of those who are sedentary!

But why endurance?

Because its the difference.

It's the goal, the accomplishment. It's not just showing up at the gym 3-4 times a week to workout.

It's training.

And it's working!


  1. Exactly. Tac is currently in the off season / work out mode and it drives him nuts.

    He's now starting to call his 3-4 work outs a week strength training and recovery for next season ;)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great post! I'm behind you all the way!

  4. What an awesome Post!!!

    Never looked at it that way.

  5. just signed up for the turkey trot! that's why we do this to ourselves-the health and the people

  6. I have a great finishers t-shirt from the london marathon, on one side it reads "26.2 If you have to ask why"... and then on the back it says "then I know you have never done a marathon", they should do the same thing for triathlon. Great post having done IM I reguarly get asked why, and as you say its not just for the finish line feeling, but what it does for our whole lifestyle, tri has changed my life for the better.

  7. hey there Jumper -- of course I remember meeting you at IMWI! -- I was only delerious after the event!!... following up with you and everyone on your offer for help!

    the blog is up here:

    we are working through the name, and a graphic design... have a look!

  8. No kidding - people are so sedentary these days. Try going to one of the zillions of beautiful trails we have here - you'll be the only one there!
    we do it because we can and we should!