Everyone assumes that because I am in the Army, I must be a strong runner. That assumption cannot be further from the truth. I was certainly not born to run. however, after training for a few years i became an excellent used to be an excellent runner when I was 16 years old. I used to be able to run and run and run some more. Then college hit me like a sack of bricks…..
My freshman year of college was defined by my sedentary all day and night “study marathons” and eating terrible food. This ultimately resulted me becoming a victim of the freshman 20. This life style remained until my junior year of college when I joined the United States Army. Long story short, if you weren’t fit by the time you were done Basic Combat Training; it meant that you didn’t belong there to begin with and that you just wasted ten weeks of your time, your platoon’s time and your drill sergeants’ time. So, I went back to being a running machine. Then, back to civilian life I came (because I am only in the Reserves).
At home I could eat what I want, when I wanted to and there was no drill sergeant to stop me or make me do physical training. I paid for this lack of discipline dearly when my unit had me take physical training test 4 months later. I failed the run horribly. It was as if I had never been to training at all. After that humiliating episode, I decided to get back into shape.
So, sure, a year later I have the endurance to run the required two miles within Army regulation standards. But compared to how I used to run, I am a pathetic sack of garbage. So, today I was thinking of how to motivate myself to train properly. As I flipped through article after article on running, I came upon something interesting; my old drill sergeant’s blog. There was an amazing article he wrote on how athletes who complete their personal goals become unmotivated and either stop training as well or (in some cases) all together. This could result in other symptoms such as moodiness and sluggishness.
According to this article, one way to avoid these symptoms was to continue to find more athletic competitions. That’s exactly what I decided to do. I turned back to Google to search for races around New Jersey. Soon enough I found the Beast of the East 10K Mud Run. I remembered how my old friend Chris always talked about how much fun he had doing mud runs, so I clicked on the link for more information. I found out that the race is going to take place at Ft. Dix and would have seventeen military- inspired obstacles to conquer. I was instantly stoked. I thought it would be cool to form a team with some guys from my platoon. We are all pretty close and we all want to grow as athletes. They are my family in some ways, and so I thought this could be a way for us to grow together. (Yes, I know that sounded cheesy, but hey… It is what it is.)