Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What If?

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you weren't a runner (or triathlete)?

Since I am injured and unable to run (luckily I can still swim and bike without any pain), I started to think about what my life would be like if I had never decided to try Couch-to-5K back in April 2011. (It still amazes me that all of this started with Week 1, Day 1 of C25K, which is alternating 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Crazy).

So, what would my life be like?

Well, I wouldn't have any of the friends that I have now. My core group of friends was starting to change right before we started running so I doubt I would still be friends with any of those people, but maybe. Running (and blogging as a result) has brought so many people into my life including Amber, Greg, Crystal and our #trailsroc friends to name a few.

These are the people I lean on the most when times are tough, and if we never took that first step toward becoming runners I probably wouldn't know any of them. (And if I didn't live dangerously and meet strangers I met on DailyMile and Twitter, I wouldn't have any of my best friends in my life).

 My precious hood

I would probably have a second Masters degree. Before running, school was my "addiction" (luckily as someone who works at a university I can still continue my lifelong learning, but in a different capacity). I am still currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice Masters program, but I think this is the last year I have before I would have to reapply to the program if I don't take any classes.

While I was "healthy" when we started C25K and losing weight was not even a factor in that decision, I'm not sure if I would have remained that way if we didn't start running. I had been in a continuous cycle of gaining weight and losing weight for a few years and who knows what I would be doing right now if I wasn't a triathlete. I didn't enjoy swimming, just to swim, as much as I did growing up and going to the gym didn't appeal to me so I probably would still be in that horribly unhealthy "yo-yo" cycle.

And I can tell you this right now, I wouldn't be as happy. While I am not always a "peppy" person, running has brought so much joy into my life. I have been able to travel to places that I might not have otherwise, including to meet those friends mentioned previously.

How many people can say that they have experienced different cities on their feet? Or run a 200 mile overnight relay with mostly strangers who become wonderful friends after? Or run two races in one day? Or raced a Half Ironman in 90 degree weather? Or run up mountains with friends and then gone kayaking after, even though you can barely walk? Or had to use a rope during a trail race to get up a hill?

Well, only a runner (or triathlete) can say that.

I'm glad that I decided to start running, because I probably wouldn't like the life that I would be living if I wasn't a runner.


  1. Id probably still be a bit chunky. I'd still be unhappy in many ways. I would be continually searching for purpose. Unfulfilled maybe?

    Blech. I like my life now and I don't want to imagine where I'd be physically or mentally without my positive lifestyle changes.

  2. Dude this is a great blog topic.
    I'd probably be expending great amounts of energy doing something else (I don't know what) or I'd just be an anxious nail biting mess!
    And I wouldn't have nearly as many cool friends, that's for sure :-)

  3. I think about this a lot, too. Running has provided a healthy outlet for frustrations, introduced me to some great people and probably inadvertently lead to the career I love right now. When I started blogging about running, my blog started growing and introducing me to more marketing tools, which I use in my 9 to 5 life daily.

  4. I'm with Crystal, I think I'd be chunkier. Maybe I'd go back to step aerobics (as if) or become a really good yogi. I'd definitely miss the endorphin rush. Nothing compares to running in that dept.

  5. I would have all of zero friends. Lol! I would also be hanging out in a gym way too much and missing out on the great outdoors. I love that about running and triathlon. I'm a big old tree hugger.

  6. I often wonder, and I'm certain I've said it to you before, if running changes people or if people that desire change are drawn to running.

    1. I do believe you have said that before, that's also an interesting thought to think about!

  7. Such an interesting read.. thanks!

  8. Love this! I've never really thought about it before. May have to write a similar post. :-)

  9. I's be a bit a lot heavier, less healthy, and not as happy. How sad!

  10. I think it's safe to say that running and the people running has brought into your life has certainly been a positive addition. It's hard to even put into words all that running has done for me. It's been quite a journey so far and I've been blessed to make such sweet friends along the way!

  11. LOVE this!!! Sports are amazing ways to connect people. If I would have never started swimming in elementary school, I literally would have none of my best friends. None!

  12. Isn't it weird to play the "what if" game? I cannot imagine my life without running and triathloning ... but if I didn't find these sports, I wouldn't have an amazing group of teammates and friends, and I probably wouldn't have this job that I love now.

  13. Great post, really makes me think what I would do if I didn't do triathlons, or how heavy would I be?

  14. I love that perspective: people that desire change are drawn to running. So true in my case!

  15. AHH so true about what running has brought to my life. If I weren't running, I'd probably be doing classes at the gym...no overnight relays or mountains there