This past weekend, Matt asked me to travel to Indiana with him to spend time with his family for his brother's college graduation. The whole family was also signing up to run in a race in Indianapolis. Matt, his mom, and his brother were signing up for a half marathon.
When he asked me to go with him six months ago, I came really, really close to signing up for the half marathon. By "close," I mean that I e-mailed Matt and said, "Sign me up for the half!" Then I found a training program online and even transferred the training schedule to my calendar (in pen, no less!). I was prepared to train for months, doing increasingly long runs (which would have required a lot of time because I am a very slow runner).
A few minutes later, I came to my senses and realized that running a half marathon was not on my list of life goals. I almost committed myself to months and months of training (with really long runs!) in order to pursue something that wasn't authentically aligned with my self.
So I signed up for the 5k instead. And boy was I thankful. Matt's dad, other brother, and I all ran our quick three miles, went back to the hotel, showered, ate a delicious breakfast buffet, and then went to the finish line to watch the rest of the family finish.
I'm still astounded by how close I came to devoting significant time, energy, and dedication to something I wasn't even passionate about. I think it's an easy trap to fall into. Running long races is one of Matt's passions, and I enjoy spending time with him. But that doesn't mean that running races has to be my hobby, too.
On the other hand, it's good to stretch ourselves and introduce ourselves to new hobbies and interests. The 5k was a good compromise. I got to be an active participant in the weekend's festivities, but I didn't have to devote large chunks of my free time to training. Phew!