Today I registered for my community’s 10k run, the Times Colonist 10k, which has been running for a few decades now. I have never run a formal 10k before. There will be bibs. There will be tracking chips with space-age technology. There will be elbows, and masses of my fellow humans getting in my way. It’s going to be awesome, but also a little intimidating.
Why register for a 10k run? Why pay hard-earned dollars to go suffer for an hour with over ten thousand of my closest neighbours? Well, as I have said before, all the training we do needs to mean something. Simple fitness is a fine goal, but achievement is something different. Achievements and goals push you harder.
But that’s not the only reason this 10k is pushing me; several of my classmates at school have also committed to run this 10k, and because I somehow organized this is a team activity, that makes me team captain. Now instead of this run being about me, and thus entirely subject to my convenience, motivation and schedule, it’s about them. So, I’m running as much because I don’t want to let them down as I am for myself. Suddenly, it’s all about the team, not the bastard.
Teamwork ups the stakes, but also the rewards, too. After the race, we’ll head out for some breakfast. And that night, there’s talk of time out at the pub, celebrating our success. And somewhere along the way, there will be stories about it, as well.
The race is just the culmination of the process; before we get there, we’ll motivate each other to train, trade information, and we’ll end up in a better place together.
So will I slack off before the race? Maybe a bit, here and there. But I’ve committed. I’ve got skin in the game, financially and socially. I’ll run that 10k as fast as I can manage, and I’ll do it knowing that I’ve got a team at my back.