I received an email this past week from Triathlon magazine that included a free digital issue of Competitor magazine. Maybe you can by just clicking on this link too? Anyway, I liked the magazine, but I question if I need yet another subscription when I have too many as it is.
But that's not my point!
In this free issue, the editor, TJ Murphy made this statement about why he does marathons. "It was really about how I'd lost the butterflies I had felt before games and track meets in high school. I was in my mid-20's and sliding into the routine of work and weekends, and I began to notice how a layer of boredom had descended over my life like a warm fog. Days and weeks would pass like flat white noise, everything turning into a blur. When I signed up for my first marathon, I felt like I was planning an escape from a low security prison".
Despite the differences, which are many, I really connected with this thought. I did not run track or cross country in high school. In fact I was rather ummm, non- active. And it wasn't until I was turning 40 and had lost the little bit of fitness I had from playing rugby and lifting weights that I decided to do something about the routine of work and weekends. And heck, I even worked most weekends, being a RN and all.
Also, a layer of boredom seems harsh. I wouldn't want my family, friends or anybody think that it is something to take personally. I certainly wasn't bored with anybody. Why running or triathlon or specifically marathons to solve this boredom problem? Maybe it should have been something more along the lines of serving others in our society in some capacity? Volunteering!
Yet, looking back, "a layer of boredom" also describes accurately a huge problem I had in my life. Life was passing fast, I could believe how fast a season or a year went by. It felt like my life was flashing before my very eyes without a real traumatic event to cause it.
Then I went out on my first run in over 15 years. I only did some running in college as an adjunct to to trying to be in better shape for rugby. I was always getting injured. It sucked. I didn't know what I was doing and it was just working out to be in better shape.
But I had to run! I had signed up for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.
I had no idea at the time how much it would change my life. How much better I would feel and that I was escaping a life that would "pass like flat white noise, everything turning into a blur". Now when I reflect on a year or a season, it feels right. Yep, that felt like 3 months or 6 months or 1 year. I am enjoying my wife more, my kids more, my faith more.
And I feel that I have the capacity to fit other things in my life as well. Like serving others, volunteering as I mentioned earlier. I don't in what capacity yet? Maybe not even til my 3 kids are older. But whether it's tomorrow or 5 years from now, I know that I'll have the physical and mental energy and strength to do whatever, because of running and triathlon.
Go out there and escape the white noise.