Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Warrior Within

I often refer to my fellow adult athletes as 'Warriors' or 'Warrior Princesses'.  I started that because of how closely the lifestyle of an athlete resembles that of a member of the armed forces.  The warrior and the athlete both train to face whatever challenge that may arise.  Neither of these groups are readily understood by the general population.  Sometimes we athletes really don't understand ourselves. 

What we do understand is that we share a belief that there should be more to life than:  getting up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner and watching TV till bed time.  But that is the life of the vast majority.  That is the normal life of the good responsible adult.  We just are not good with that life, we crave more.  We need to be challenged, we need to find our limits and then nudge them a little more each time we reach them.  Perhaps there is still a part of us that refuses to be be tamed and allow us to follow the herd.

Along with our desire to have a more exciting life we also become more body conscious.  We begin to eat healthier food, drink more water, care more about the air we breathe.  Something interesting begins to happen, we begin to see the world around us differently.  We begin to see the beauty of nature and we come to realize that we are not in nature but we are part of it.

There is a term used by seasoned endurance athletes, 'The Runner's high'.  It has been debated over the years.  The science types have analyzed it as when your body produces endorphins, a feel good substance, that the body produces.  Others have said that it is a heightened state of consciousness that comes from all the fresh oxygen being pumped through your blood stream, supercharging all your functions.   Maybe it's when that untamed part of us takes over and we are for a short time no longer the store owner or the office worker that we were a moment before.  Maybe we do indeed become a part of nature, like the wolf loping tirelessly across the tundra or the eagle soaring high above, completely at peace.  Once we experience that feeling we don't need to analyze it.

We tell ourselves we train for different reasons, to look better, to have more energy, to become healthier.  Regardless of the reasons we tell ourselves we soon begin to realize that what we have really done is make a decision to retake control of our lives.  Like the warrior we prepare to meet our challenges head on.

Thanks for reading.


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