As we’ve tendencies to do during the dark, cold and blustery winter, I log some of my base training for the coming season on the treadmill. It’s an effictive and convenient way to shake off the Tin Man I’ve become while imbibing in the holiday spirit of joy, family and friends and – gluttony!
Treadmill running sucks. So to make it suck-less I select a Netflix or Amazon Prime series I’ve been meaning to watch but never have the time, and power watch end-to-end over the endless days upon the hamster wheel. My sons Patrick and Drew serve as my personal video curators, queuing me up with the best of the best programs. They’ve never steered me wrong and this year was no exception.
The selection was Band of Brothers, HBO’s 2001 American WWII miniseries. It is a whopping 12 hours of non-stop nail biting drama, guaranteed to make treadmill running suck-less.
My takeaway was a better appreciation for the “why” which motivated young American men and women volunteering to put their lives at great risk. The act of putting country and community over one’s self. However, there were many other reasons for volunteering beyond the noble aspect. Some thrusting towards, others fleeing life’s circumstances. Soldiers maintaining family tradition, neophytes seeking to discover themselves, their metal.
It got me thinking about endurance runners, and our “why”. Albeit on a more personal level and minuscule risk, some of the motivations of soldiers are similar to our own. Selfless acts of putting our community; tribe, before our own needs. Craving the welcoming community, camaraderie. Sharing our “war” stories. Running from – or towards aspects of our lives. Self discovery, accomplishment.
So the next time I’m suffering on a long run, I’ll remind myself I volunteered for this, it’s not just about me and it’s not life or death, unlike our veterans. Suck it up Sally, and pass the Tailwind.