I have always admired anybody that enters an event, as this in itself is a big physical, mental and emotional commitment. Just deciding to enter an event means that you are prepared to put yourself in a position where you may or may no succeed, and this is without the impact on your family and sometimes friends.
As amateur athletes first and foremost we have to work to ensure we can have a lifestyle that allows us to take part in our chosen sports. For us there is none of this sleeping till we are ready to rise, eating and then training for the day, then resting and repeating. For us we fit our training into our day around work and family and sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day.
This means that in some respects we are actually more dedicated than the pro’s, not as talented for sure but certainly not lacking in dedication.
When it comes to our chosen events, who are we really competing with? Is it ourselves, our current self, a former self or something else? This is something that will be personal to each of us, for me it is always one of two things, I either want to test myself to see if I can do it or I purely do it for fun. I have been at the finish of events, and seen people cross the finish line and burst into tears at their achievement, I have never experienced this, I have never done something for someone else or been that desperate to complete something, maybe it’s an experience I have to come.
I accept I am never going to win a race, in fact my best ever result was 3rd in my age group in a 10k, this gave me a real buzz, but if I never repeat it I don’t mind.
The other side to our competing is how it affects our families, does your partner come to your races willingly or because you make them? IF they do something do you go and support or would you? I am lucky my wife comes to my races and always offers support and in the build up a sense of balance, and who doesn’t find an extra bit of energy when your name is called out from a group of spectators? We all love it really!
In conclusion what I am trying to say is that we should never lose sight of why we enter events, yes the training can be hard, yes it can be difficult, yes you might never be an Olympian but ask yourself, who are you competing with?
The answer to this question is probably different for each of us, and to be honest my reason is no more valid than yours we all do it for our own reasons. But there is one thing we all have in common, and is something we should not forget, we do this for FUN, the most important point and one often forgotten.