Meb Keflezighi has many reasons to head out the door and run. What about you?
“Why do you run?”
As runners, we get asked this question a lot. The truth is that we all run for our own reasons, but through running we can inspire one another in many different ways.
I run to get the best out of myself and motivate other people. I gave my heart and soul at Boston, so much so that I couldn’t walk for two weeks afterward. I was so beat up, but at the same time I knew it wasn’t for myself—it was for a greater cause. It was for the victims whose names I had on my bib. It was for the people of Boston who were cheering for me every step of the way along the course. I thought to myself during the race, if you get beat, you get beat, but you will run to win and to get the best out of yourself.
I think that’s something we can all do every day: try to get the best out of ourselves.
Ask yourself, “What are my goals for the year?” and let the answer motivate you to be your best self every day. It’s all about the big picture. For me, I knew Boston was a one-shot opportunity this year. I knew if I didn’t win Boston, I probably wouldn’t come back and try again. It was all or nothing. I thought of that every day.
No matter how fast you are, it all comes down to commitment, hard work perseverance and passion. If you have those things and have the courage to test yourself from time to time, you never know how things might turn out or whom you might inspire. Reach for the stars; you might only get one or two or maybe 10, but you won’t get any if you don’t reach for them.
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For example, I’ve done 20 marathons. I’ve only won the race or got a medal in four of them. It’s OK to be disappointed if you don’t hit your goal, but instead of letting it discourage you, allow that disappointment to encourage you and motivate you to keep improving.
We all want it bad, whether it’s to run a personal best, win a race or get to that finish line for the first time. Be patient—don’t give up on the dream and always keep your eyes on the big goal.
Overcoming obstacles and challenges is part of the sport. But at the same time, it’s important to make sure you’re enjoying it. When things get tough, remind yourself why you run.