This month's #LifeNotLaundry nod goes to the active lifestyle! We can�t say enough about this one especially to a young, strapping college student like yourself. Being active is not only crucial, but it�s also usually tied to something enjoyable. No, we don�t mean a dreaded gym visit or the mundane run around the nearest trail. We mean being active as a way to enjoy life and the overall college experience that much more. And with laundry service, you certainly have more time to focus your energy on the things that NEED your energy, like being active.
Written by Ryan Lear (ULHQ Staff)
I love the marathon. I love the history, the tradition, and the fanfare surrounding it. The Marathon was born in legend: Pheidippides ran from the city of Marathon to Athens, shouted �nike!� (victory!) and then he collapsed and he died. I love that the marathon attracts both elite athletes with their eyes set on the podium and the record books, aiming to do what no human being has ever done before as well as mere mortals like myself who want to see how far and how hard we can push our bodies and to prove to ourselves that we can do it; that the thing that once seemed impossible can be conquered, but not without cost.
Bill Rodgers, former #1 ranked marathoner in the world, said �The marathon will humble you. But the truth is, sometimes it will do more than humble you. Sometimes it will break your heart.� He�s right.
I have dreamed about the Boston Marathon since I was little. My mom ran the Austin Marathon when I was young and tried to qualify for Boston. I remember how highly regarded it was to �BQ� (Qualify for Boston) - to run a marathon not just to cross the finish line, but to run fast enough to be invited to be a part of the most famous road race in the world. 17 years later I would get my chance.
In February of 2016 I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in Austin at three hours and fifty-one seconds and qualified for the Boston Marathon. It felt like I had a superpower that I could run for 26.2 miles in 3 hours. 2 years prior to this moment, I was 75 pounds heavier and hadn�t exercised in months. It is difficult for me to find the words to describe what that moment felt like; to cross the finish line having done something I had never done before and had long believed to be unrealistic and unreachable.
Because above all else, the marathon has taught me that great things are built out of innumerable small and sometimes seemingly insignificant things. Some training days are wonderful: the weather is perfect, your legs feel strong, and you feel like you can run forever. Even more training days are a nightmare: it�s hot or it�s cold or it�s windy or it�s raining, and your legs feel like cement and you feel like you are working far too hard to be moving this slow. But most training days are mundane - nothing remarkable happens. It�s just another day that you lace up your shoes and go for a run.
Each of these days, however, are making you stronger; slowly and stride by stride turning you into a marathoner. Making anything great is slow and tedious work. I don�t feel progress as it is happening - I don�t feel my body getting stronger or building up endurance - but it�s happening all the same.
And so, on April 17th, 2017, Marathon Monday, I had the honor and the privilege of running with 30,000 of the fastest marathoners in the world in the 121st Boston Marathon. It was a warm and sunny day - too warm for a marathon. I had trained hard and felt confident heading into race day, but my body turned against me. Maybe it was dehydration, maybe it was simply fatigue and exhaustion, but I had a frustrating and disappointing race.
Even still, I�ll never forget it. There is nothing like it. Since its inaugural running in 1897, the course has been changed once to move the starting line back to Hopkinton when the Marathon distance officially changed to 26.2 miles in 1908. It�s surreal to run on the same roads, the same course, and the same hills, and to follow in the literal footsteps of hundreds of thousands of runners before me - elite athletes and legends as well as countless other ordinary people with extraordinary dreams.
An estimated one and a half million spectators line up along the 26.2-mile course on Patriot�s Day each year to watch and cheer. Boston is so excited about and so proud of their marathon and it�s contagious to be around. Runners are treated like celebrities and kings and queens all weekend. I don�t think that Boston is so proud of their marathon and celebrate it so fervently because it�s the most famous marathon in the world but it rather seems to be the other way around: Boston is the most famous marathon in the world because of the pride and care and celebration poured into it by all New England on Marathon Monday every year, 121 years and counting.
I want to go back. I don�t want that to be my last taste of the marathon. Bill Rodgers was right � the marathon will humble you and the marathon will break your heart. Boston hurt because I know that I can run better than I did on Monday. I didn�t reach my own potential, but I�ll be back. I already have my next race on the calendar, where I hope to BQ once more and get my shot at redemption.
Ryan�s story is absolutely inspiring and leaves us with this question...What�s keeping you from getting out there and moving around a bit? Not convinced of the benefits?
Here's a few reasons that might help:
We�ve found that often times the rub against being active is that there isn�t enough energy in the tank to make it happen. Staying up late making sure grades stay tight means you�re already putting quite a bit of energy into your studies and of course the endless opportunities to hang with friends. However, it�s proven that being active, while it does take energy, actually helps your body stay energized throughout the day. It could be worth that early morning pick-up game to stay awake for accounting, right?
Clear The Mechanism
In this case, the �mechanism� is the mind. And, we think being active is a great way to clear out the minute details that add stress. Staying active and making sure to give time to physical activity is extremely important in order to maintain the best version of yourself for the endless activities in which you�re involved. Keeping the mind clear is something EVERYONE wants to learn how to conquer. The truth is, being active helps keep you energized and ready for more.
Hangin' With Friends
We encourage you not to sit idle in college, especially when you have so many people around you that, most likely, are up for a little exercise. Often times, activities need more than one person. Plus, it�s just more fun to have more people around. You could turn a work out or adventurous activity into a group hang in no time!
As you know, there are countless benefits to staying and being active. These are just a few of our favorites. For Ryan, the challenge of the marathon was inspiring, but for you, it may be that you get a little more time with a few good friends. Either way, you have more time on your hands, and we hope you use it to stay healthy.
TOOLS TO HELP
Get Out There
If you�re not sure where to start, we�ve got you covered. We found some pretty cool places to get you active right at school, and threw in a few apps in there too. Just start somewhere!
Klyde Warren Yoga
Couch to 5k