A lot of people comment on all the sacrifices athletes have to make in order to fit their training in and perform to the best of their ability. These include things such as, not going out late with friends, saying no to trips abroad, leaving events early in order to get to bed, or spending less time with family. A lot of these are considered “sacrifices”, but they don’t have to be. To me, a sacrifice is saying no to something you wish you could do but you can’t because training gets in the way. Whilst there may be a lot of things we have to let pass us by, are we really making sacrifices or choices? Is training a drag, or something we voluntarily choose to put ourselves through?
I personally don’t think I make huge sacrifices, and I don’t like to say I do because there are people in far worse situations. For me, everything I say no to because of training is not a sacrifice, it is instead a choice. I am the one who decided to give my all to a sport in order to see where I can get, therefore I am the one who chooses not to do certain things. If I really wanted to go out clubbing, or go on the latest holiday instead of go training, I would, no one is forcing me not to, but the enjoyment I get from training and giving my all to something I want to pursue, far outweighs the enjoyment I would get from doing whatever I said no to. Therefore, I feel, I am not making countless sacrifices, instead I am making a choice.
At times, I even feel bad if people comment on all the “sacrifices” I have had to make. This is because, whilst they may be sacrifices in the eyes of other people, to me they are not. I haven’t spent hours pondering over whether I should go clubbing or get a good night sleep to be raring to go for training in the morning, because training is something I choose to put first. It hasn’t taken all of my will power and self-control to say no to certain things, therefore I am simply being praised for a life choice I have made. There are other people in the world who are forced to make far worse sacrifices for the safety and health of their family, to me, the decisions I make because of training aren’t so bad!
Yes, there are some things that are harder to say no to, such as going away with my family to places I wouldn’t be able to get my training done. I know I would enjoy these trips, but if I wouldn’t be able to get my training done for regular weeks away, I wouldn’t enjoy the holiday. Therefore, whilst this could be seen as a sacrifice, it is again a choice I am consciously making for a sport I love, not a decision I am being forced to make.
Is it all worth it?
Whilst there are certain things training prevents me from doing, I have to weigh up whether it is all worth it. For now, I don’t know if it will be further down the line, but I know, I won’t regret giving my all to running. I would regret it, come 10 years down the line, if I looked back and wished I had done more to see what level I could get to. So, is it all worth it? I can’t answer that, but I know I won’t regret seeing if it is.
Essentially, running is a lifestyle choice, and it is the life I chose. Yes, I do miss out on late nights and spontaneous trips, but those things just don’t fit my personality. Even if I didn’t have training in my life, I still wouldn’t be out every weekend, because that just isn’t what I enjoy. I get my enjoyment from running, spending time with my friends and family, and writing, all of which the lifestyle of a runner allows me to do.
People make bigger sacrifices in other ways, so I don’t see it as a sacrifice, because I’m not suffering, instead it is a choice that I make for something I love, and something my family support me in pursuing.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!