Chasing Happiness: Confessions of a Race Addict
I crossed the finish line of my 62nd half – marathon, which is also my 127th endurance race, this weekend. I felt a great sense of accomplishment. And not for the reason you may think. It had nothing to do with crossing the finish line.
I have been racing for over a decade, and a lot has changed. I remember receiving my very 1st medal and thinking, “This makes me SO happy.” And it did. It really did. But soon after, the happiness was replaced with a void. A void satisfied only when…. wait for it, I signed up for ANOTHER race. I often signed up for the next race on the way home from the race just finished!
No big deal. Running is good for you...right?
A cycle of temporary happiness followed by episodes of depression went on for many years. Resulting in me taking on bigger, longer, and harder races. The Boston Marathon, IRONMAN, Alcatraz Triathlon, Athens, Ultras... the list goes on and on.
This race addiction. This chase for happiness. Finally brought me to endure the hardest marathon in the world, “The Inca Trail Marathon” in Peru.15K feet of climbing and nearly 14 hours later, I finished the race and my body was exhausted, trashed, mentally and physically done. Grateful for no serious injuries, but still it took 8 weeks to recover.
After that race, I took a serious look inward. If I wasn’t “Lisa the crazy endurance athlete” ...who was I? How many races do I need to achieve sustainable happiness? Answer. NONE.
You will never be happy, chasing happiness.
I needed to reconnect with my core values. I needed to find my “Why.” Happiness was not running away from me. It was in me, with me, and about me this whole time.
Through this journey of self-discovery, I found happiness in running again. I was taking care of ALL of me.
I can help others achieve happiness and a healthy lifestyle. I created Happiness in Motion - a unique offering that combines scientifically proven methods to increase happiness with mindful physical movement that cultivate a kind and loving relationship with yourself and your body.
I still love racing. Only now, I rarely run with a watch. I never put myself down. I base the success of my performance on how many wonderful people I meet and how much fun I had on the downhill. I pause to capture beautiful moments (see pics), and to encourage new runners who struggle along the way. I celebrate myself and honor my body ALWAYS. Whether I am fast or slow; or somewhere in between.
Oh, btw, since I found my Happiness in Motion, I run and enjoy more miles than ever before. Hmmm...I must be on to something!!
Find your happiness.