#RunPhD: Why

A chalkboard was set up at a race I completed recently. It had a set of markers in front and a single question in the middle: “What’s your why?”

I am in love with this question.


It’s one that I think we have to ask ourselves when we choose to make a sacrifice. For that Sunday morning, the people at the starting line had given up time, money, rest, and maybe some inner peace to spend some time on the course. Based on simple math, out of four events, 873 of us were not going to win. And the four who did win? They would get an award and a bag of prizes from the sponsors of the event. A nice prize, but not exactly a brand new car. Knowing almost of all of us would “lose” and the winners didn’t have a super big prize at the finish line, we each had to have something else keeping us from heading back to the car, back to bed, and back to dreamland.

No one else can define what your why is. And your why may change every single time you dare to do something new. You may go to college, or back to college, because of unfinished business or to earn more money. You may take a new job out off boredom or for a cause you believe in. You may say yes to a date because that other person might be the one…or its Saturday night and you don’t want to cook. It’s your why, your choice, your startling line of something.


In case you’re curious, I was at that starting line on Sunday morning to see how fast I could be. To see what would happen if I pushed myself. And when I crossed the finish line, I knew 100% that I had run as fast as I could that morning. And that I could do better. #NextChapter


I’ve survived 13 marathons and one Ph.D. program. So…now what? I’ve learned through the journeys that it’s not about intelligence, speed, magic beans, or waiting for it to get easy. It’s about strength and perseverance. This year’s blog series will be about #WhatsNext after crossing some major finish lines, and preparing for new starting lines as a runner and a (not that kind of) doctor. I am #RunPhD.

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