Mountain Dad and I were texting back and forth last night. (I would show you the text, but I don’t have a fancy phone. I am 28-almost 29 and still on a family plan with my Mom. I get whatever the free upgrade is every two years). Mountain Dad has always done his best to stay in shape. He owns a home gym, (because he lives so far away from civilization), he only stays at hotels with gyms, and I give him credit-he is incredibly diligent about getting up, drinking his coffee-sorry tea, and working out. Anytime he comes out to visit us in Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana he knows to start getting in shape for hiking, skiing, or hunting.
Currently, he is training for an elk hunting trip in Montana with my brother. His training method: hiking in his backyard with a weighted backpack. First ten pounds, then 15 pounds, then 25 pounds. His training style is a bit Rambo for my neatly prescribed excel spreadsheets, but whatevs. It works. Or should I say it worked, until he hurt his hip.
Most people’s response to my Dad and his hip injury was “your not 16 anymore.” “Don’t do so much.” Those responses from people are frustrating. Somehow the average person just does not get it. You ran how far? You biked to where?
I was 27 when I broke my foot 3 times in 6 months. Here I am one year later and running a marathon. Please don’t tell Mountain Dad that he is too old. I realized last night that endurance training, racing, and participating runs in our blood. Mountain Dad told me, so it must be true.
I don’t have a clear reason why I run long distances or head out for 100 mile bike rides other than because I can. I work out regularly, push my body hard, and once I hit a plateau I push it harder. It’s a lifestyle. When days off role around, I don’t spend them shopping or on the couch, I decide to head out for long run or ride.
Once I went to the endurance side over 4 years ago when running my first marathon, I never went back. I knew what my body could handle and endure. Even when breaking my foot (times 3), mentally I wanted nothing more than to go the distance.
But, all within reason. I have learned since the foot incident that when we push our bodies too hard, they scream back at us. Or like a child throwing a fit, they sit down and refuse to do anything.
Perhaps Mountain Daddy has pushed it a bit too hard, but it doesn’t mean that he can’t go the distance. And it doesn’t mean that when people tell us to stop that we will. In fact, we will just go further.
So, I did what any good endurance addicted daughter would do and sent him a bit of reading today:
His backpack will be full of Cliff Shots and water, but at least significantly lighter than 25 lbs.
Do people every question why you run or bike so far? All the freaking time
What is your response? I don’t have one. Help me be witty please.