When I get a running injury, or do not hit a goal time, the thought to quit running completely comes up. Then I think through all my times in team sports why I quit them. It makes me feel like I am a quitter, and I cannot bare that status for all my life.
Baseball was the first sport for me. I was a terrible hitter. One coach thought he would toughen me up by throwing the ball as close to me @ 60-80mph, even sometimes hitting and bruising me. I couldn’t take that anymore… so I moved onto football. I bulked up to be a linesman, and put the work in, never letting anyone through. The thing is, if someone on your specialty team fails, everyone gets punished. So we would have to lay face down in the mud, on cold rainy fall days. Everyday I came home muddy, and my asthma was still strong so I would get sick easily. Hockey became big in this time of my life, as all my friends played… so here we start a new adventure. Now I was able to handle punishment, knowing it was a part of team sports that performed well – during this era. We became regional champions. My parents spent every penny to help me, and suffered working long hours and driving me. Unfortunately the cost to continue this in high school, we could not continue. Luckily in high school sports were free, so I took up soccer. Our team performed well and I grew in the ranks. Eventually senior year comes, and it can become the end of the road. I decided in college to focus on school, so soccer was out as a fully time effort. These are all team sports. You rely on others, equipment, and facilities in order to participate. Running, on the other hand…. can happen anywhere and anytime. Thus… I think I will stick with it.
What got me injured though, perhaps started out with this. as I became safe sport certified for a USATF position, I learned about certain abuses. This mentality I acquired of punishment for failure, perhaps I adopted for myself. So when I did not hit my goal time, next day I would probably do a 20 miler or hard tempo effort. I am changing my mentality now, definitely removing this self punishment factor, and signing up for races only if I am ready. Not years in advance.