> By Blain Davis
> Whether you are running your first 5k run, 1/2 marathon, full or ultra; there is one thing in common, every person has a driving motivation to accomplish the goal. It may be as simple as losing that nasty stubborn 5 pounds, reclaiming your youth or something much bigger.
> Many of the runners I have met in my ultra marathon adventures in the Sahara, Gobi and Atacama deserts have had the simple desire for adventure. Others desire to challenge themselves past the last marathon - but there are the few inspiring ones that have a glow about them - something special.
> Many of these competitors are like all the others at the starting line but there is something significant that has brought them to that line. These tell a story through the pain, anguish and challenge that life has brought them. Why would anyone run 250K through a desert if they didn't even like running? Why would a person risk severe dehydration to cross a finish line in the shadow of the pyramids of Giza? Why would another limp through severe knee pain to walk hour upon hour, day upon day through mountain passes for a medal made of nickel?
> My story started with my youngest son Jack. He was a sick baby that never seemed quite right, always coughing and always struggling. At 7 months old he grew so sick that my wife called me home to rush him to the emergency. While in the hospital, the doctors told me twice to literally pick my son up and 'run for his life'.
First in fear of him having meningitis and the second, when he was tied to his hospital bed because he was literally drowning as his lungs filled with fluid. He would soon turn grey and stop breathing…
"Dad, run! I need you to run! Are you listening? Run!"
> Those words are forever etched in my mind. They are the reason I cherish every moment with my son who survived and was later diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
CF is a lung disease that is fatal. However, with diligent care; Jack can have a full, long life because of the medical advancements that have been made.
> So, five years later I signed up for a 250K ultra marathon through the Sahara desert without having run one marathon. I gave myself a year to prepare and ran 5 marathons in that time. I ran, walked and crawled my way to the finish line, every step with my family and in particular my son Jack as my motivation.
> Jack and his older brother Evan are still my motivation. Your motivation may be as simple as that weight loss goal, reclaiming your youth or running to raise money for a cause that is near and dear your heart. It's hard to do something without a motivating drive that pushes you through a physical challenge. I've actually met very few people that just compete for fun or run a marathon "just because".
> Discovering your motivation is often the easiest thing as it ends up being something raw and very real from your life. What you do with that motivation is what really matters. Channeling it into a goal that seems bigger than what you can handle, only to find out that you were stronger than you thought.
What's your motivation? Now find the challenge and go for it!