By Ambassador Bryan Kreitz

Why am I waking up at 4:30am to run. Why am I running 13.1 miles. Why did I let my friends talk me into this? Why?

That word plagued me for years as I started becoming active in the running scene. The problem was, I did not have a “why” that I was passionate about.
My finding of “why” started with a friend who thought it would be a phenomenal idea to sign up for the 2006 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and actually run it. He then convinced his extremely overweight friend (that would be yours truly) that this 13.1 miles wouldn’t be that bad, and that it would be fun to do together. (Somehow we are still friends)

You have to understand, at that time I was 200 lbs and couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. Running wasn’t fun to me, and I couldn’t understand how this sport would ever be fun. There was no joy/fun partly because my “why” was built off peer pressure and sinking 100 dollars into a 13.1 mile run. That’s it. Not complicated, not well thought out, just good old fashion peer pressure and money. Problem was that “why” wasn’t enough to keep me going. I ran it, but it felt like work. I don’t know about you, but I won’t ever keep a hobby that feels like work.

Now I am grateful for my friend that talked me into the Half, because that gave me exposure to a world that I did not know existed. A world where the “why” was as unique as the person. I started realizing there was no magic pill that made you like running, and just because you do not like running when you start, doesn’t mean you will dislike it forever.

“Whys” are very personal. Some run for health, others for time alone, some for bragging rights, some for the awesome community, some for those that can’t, but what it boils down to is finding your own “why”. Don’t do it for your friend, or your husband/wife, or you boss, or your (insert additional people here), do it for you. Because, I believe, until you have a personal “why”, these runs will be a job for you to do. I recently had a conversation about this blog with one of my non-running friends (who, by the way, I talked into signing up for the Half) and she wanted me to tell her, her “why”. I told her I couldn’t, and she would have to find hers on her own. She had an AHA moment and told me she found her “why”, and would tell me after she crossed the finish line. After our conversation, I knew I had found another “why”. There is no limit to the number you can have, or how long it should take to find one. It took me over 6 years to find my first “why”, but let me tell you, now that I know my why, no one can take the joy and fun of running away from me.

Now we only have 6 months until the marathon, so I recommend you lace up those shoes, head outside, and go find your “why”.

I’ll see you on the streets.

About the Author: Ambassador Bryan Kreitz

Bryan started running after tipping the scales at 200lbs, and ran his first Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 2006.  It took him four years after that endeavor to attempt another.  After taking another couple of years off, eating correctly and training properly, Bryan began to get his “running” legs.  He has PR’d in four straight half Marathons (2:10, 1:51, 1:50, and 1:47). He also set a PR at the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon, taking a whopping 45 minutes off his previous best, going from 5:36 to 4:50.  In 2015, he hopes to see the four hour mark fall.  He also PR’d at the Galveston 70.3 by 11 minutes, when he finished in 5:52. Bryan has been married for 11 years and has two wonderful kids.  They are his best cheerleaders ever and are at 95% of his races, which is an amazing commitment on their part. When not running, he enjoys softball, time with the family and racing.
Twitter – @kreitz09