why I race

It begins the night before
I check my alarm to ensure it is set
I try to fall asleep, but I struggle
I check my alarm again, is the sound all the way up?
Once I finally doze off I dream of the next day
Even though I have no idea what is going to unfold

The moments before I stand on the starting line
I panic
"Why did I say yes to this?"
"I am not going to be able to make it"
"How can I get out of this, right now"
All of these are thoughts that run through my head

But there is no turning back
And so I begin
Settling into a groove
My mind shifts
My body accepts the challenge
And I push myself further than I ever thought I could go

What I love most about these events are
The camaraderie between those competing
And the cheers from the volunteers and spectators
Each word of encouragement helps me take that next step
Each high five sends a surge of energy into my blood stream
I realize I am not alone

I push myself up the hills
I climb over obstacles
Get covered in mud
And I am smiling
Cheering loudly
And wondering where the finish line is

Before I began I was filled with fear
Looking for any way to run the other direction
But as I jump over the fire, and cross the finish line
I am so glad I showed up
I realize I am stronger than I thought I was
And I can do anything I put my mind to 

This is why I race
To feel the gamut of emotions
To show up with fear, and finish with pride
To push myself past my edges
Take myself further than I ever thought I could go
And for the camaraderie with others

For me it was never about time
It was about finishing
And I did just that, with a big smile on my face