Sunday, May 16, 2010

What Possesses People?

The Ogden Marathon took place in Utah yesterday. It's one of the many competitions (mainly triathlons, bike races, and running races) that happens where I live, in a beautiful valley in the Northern part of the state. Here in Ogden Valley (which includes towns Huntsville, Eden and Liberty) we have 3 ski resorts (Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and Wolf Mountain), a lake, lots of trails, a golf course, a river, hot pots, a canyon, and yes, even a waterfall--which make these competitions not only challenging, but scenic. It's no wonder the Ogden Marathon is ranked the nation's 9th best in Runner's World magazine.
People train year-round for these competitions and while some do a particular race "just to do it," others take it very seriously. Either way, as someone who has never run a marathon, I find myself wondering why they decide to go for it. What possesses them? After all, it's such a big commitment, and, let's face it, rather painful at times. As a wife of a triathlete (who was in the "just do it" camp when he started last summer and these are some photos of him and his brother) I get that there's a "rush" and that they like the competition, perhaps a sense of camaraderie with the marathon (or bike race, etc) community, perhaps even (if they're really good at it) a sense of pride and excitement as a medal is placed around one's neck ... but as for me, I'm happy being a triathlon cheerleader who goes to spin and yoga classes and fair weather walks to keep healthy.

Then I read in the paper another interesting story. Does "Ella's Pink Lady" mean anything to you? It's the name of the yacht sixteen year-old Aussie, Jessica Watson, sailed around the world. It took her 210 days to cover 23,000 nautical miles. She's the youngest person to sail around the world alone and unassisted. Again I find myself wondering, what possessed her to take on this monumental feat?
I love hearing stories of people who break records (either their own or a standing record), make entirely new records, and succeed in something that at one time they themselves might have deemed impossible. Have you ever taken a leap of faith? Have you ever broken a record or do you have a story about someone who has?


TinaFerraro said...

Gosh, no, I have not. I, too, am amazed by the fortitude that goes into such record breaking...and thank you for posting this interesting event and story!

Janie Emaus said...

The only record I've ever broken was an old 45! But, at times, I have practically written myself into a coma..Does that count?

Anna R said...

Jessica said, after completing her solo sail , "I'm an ordinary girl who believed her dream."
She continued, "People don't think you are capable of these things - they don't realize what what young people, what 16-year-olds and girls are capable of." "It is amazing wghen you take away those expectations, what you can do."
She is now looking forward to getting her drivers license.
I love this.

nymfaux said...

the chance to do something amazing

Mena said...

Utahns are CRAZY! I'm in Provo and I'm continually surprised by the number of outdoor activities, sports, and life-defying hobbies participated in here. Wowsers. But, it sure looks fun!

Marley Gibson said...

Proud of your hubs! I've never broken a record or anything like that, but a friend of mine did put my name on his t-shirt of cancer survivors that he ran for one year in the Boston Marathon. That was nice!