If I start sounding like a broken record, I'm sorry, but this topic is really important to me. Helping your fellow man.... Let's discuss.
The running and triathlon community has given the power to countless amounts of people to overcome extreme adversity. And it gives the opportunity to those in a more fortunate situation to help those who would otherwise be unable to get back up. I know that sounds choppy and I am sorry, but bare with me here.
Organizations like CARE2TRI and BEST BUDDIES are giving the experience of a race to people that aren't able to without the assistance of others. Then you have stories like the boy who does triathlon with his brother that's confined to a wheel chair and needs assistance, sticking up for him and loving him. But helping isn't just for those with special needs, it's also for those who battle substance abuse, struggle with financial stability, or deal with depression. Through running, you can raise awareness for those less fortunate than yourself, but it also gives the tools and the power for those battling whatever it is life throws at them to overcome adversity.
I'm telling you, running and triathlon is so much bigger than the sport. There's a greater meaning behind it and unless you've experienced the sense of belonging and compassion that I've felt and hopefully given, then you'll still only see it as some form of competition.
When I talk about what I've chosen to pursue in ultra running and triathlon, people automatically think I'm crazy and write it off as grueling and idiotic, something they "could never do!" But I feel deep down inside my heart, my soul that this is something I want to do and I was meant to do. It's seriously a way to raise awareness and help people out. And remember, it's not about the distance, the pace, the time or PR's, it's about the experience.
I hope this post doesn't sound redundant, but I hope this post does what I intended, that is to hopefully inspire.