"A lot of my family members are obese. Just trying to delay the inevitable."
"I had a crush on a triathlete, so I took it up."
"I volunteered for one, saw all the people without 6-pack abs finishing, and thought to myself, "Hey, I can do that!'"
"Because Red Horse."
I always joke about it, especially at interviews (mostly to buy myself time to come up with a more profound answer). But it really is only through the years of training, racing, exploring different places, meeting different athletes, learning more about my sport, and learning more about myself, that I have been able to identify what it is in me that aches to cross another finish line.
This quote from British climber, George Mallory, describes it best:
“People ask me, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is of no use.' There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron...
If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
― George Mallory, Climbing Everest: The Complete Writings of George Mallory