Especially because I can't really tell them perhaps the biggest reason without a long explanation.
Why would I rather push myself to the limit rather than sit on the couch and enjoy the cushions?
Yes, the sights, especially in the peaks, are breathtaking, and the connection with the outdoors is life-affirming. A large part of it is the evenin' breeze touchin' your skin, the gentle sweet singin' of leaves in the wind, the whisper that calls after you in the night and kisses your ear in the early moonlight (thanks Heart).
But there's something else, there, too, and I'm afraid it's more of a reason than it should be.
I like to feel like a badass.
That sounds so arrogant. In fact, it's the opposite.
Now you can see the need an explanation.
When I was a kid, I was picked on ruthlessly. I still can't tell you why. They picked me last in kickball. It peaked in junior high school. And though it shouldn't, that shit sticks with you.
I remember staring in amazement the first time I hit a ball over the centerfielder's head for a home run. Yes, it was a softball, but me doing anything athletic at all flabbergasted me. As it turns out, I ran the mile in 6:15 in P.E. near the end of my time in junior high hell. It silenced a few, and I began to lift weights, which silenced a few more, and that's probably why high school was actually fun.
Regardless, the shit still sticks, and I scarcely believe in myself when it comes to sports.
So I have to prove it to myself.
Over and over.
Many times, when I'd climb the toughest peaks, I'd summit and take in the sights, and then I'd smirk a bit. I actually liked it when I scraped myself up. We called those wounds souvenirs. You know, like a badass.
Most of the time, when I cross the finish line, I smirk a bit as well. Pretty good, I'll think, and I feel like a badass.
A couple months ago, I made a decision after years of putting it off. I talked to my closest friends, who are, of course, all badasses. My running partner sent me a schedule.
Today was the first day of following it.
Now my life is a series of numbers. Two-a-days. May 9. 26.2.
I feel like a badass just writing that.
Maybe, finally, that feeling will last beyond the finish line.