Why I Started Running
Former Basketball, Rugby Star Turns to New Sport Post-College
Since I'm new to the community, I thought it would be appropriate that I disclose the fact that I'm relatively new to competitive running. I've done the CCC on a number of occasions, but never really ran competitively. While I've been a regular runner/jogger for several years now, it hasn't always been my preferred sport-of-choice.
I played basketball in high school, rugby in college, and didn't start running competitively until I was beyond my physical prime. That said, while my 5-10, 190lb body may no longer be able to drive 6-4 260lb, 21 year old men to the ground the way Von Miller does a defenseless quarterback, I'm still fast; both in terms of sprinting ability and distance running, and would like to remain physically active now that my career with organized team sports appears to be over.
I no longer play rugby because I'm no longer in college, and the level of competition in the men's recreational leagues in the area in which I reside is insufficient to motivate me to commit to it. When there are 12 men on the field, one of them should not account for 60% of a team's defensive stops, much less more than half the ground gained offensively (such statistics are not kept in recreational local rugby leagues).
In college, I led my team in stops, meters gained on a per-touch basis, and scoring. While the extent of my domination may have been just as strong then as it would be now, there is no longer a campus full of beautiful women throwing themselves at me as a result of my elite athletic cababilities. Had I played football instead of basketball in high school, I may still be playing today, and being paid to do so. Unfortunately, I only discovered how good a player I was at the sport when I started playing rugby in college, and from the moment I first took the field was unquestionably the best player on the field at any given time during any given game. While I attended a small NAIA college, we competed against big schools, including SEC powerhouses Florida, Alabama and Auburn. I was a celebrity on campus, and the things girls on campus would do to get my attention would not be believed by most were I to reveal them. The school had no football team, so the best player on the rugby team was by default the most in-demand bachelor on campus.
Thus, running seems the most practical sport for me at 30 years of age, as athletically speaking I would be too good for recreational rugby given the physical toll the sport takes on one's body (remember, in rugby - ulike football - there are NO pads), combined with the fact that playing rugby would no longer bring me hoards of beautiful women willing to do whatever it takes to get me to notice them (were I to go into detail, this post would be NSFW).
Which brings me to running. I am still an exceptional athlete, even at 30 years of age, and I am devoted to staying healthy. I eat right, take all my vitamins and supplements and otherwise try my best to stay in shape. Since rugby is no longer in the cards for the reasons stated above, running seems the most practical alternative as it at least affords me the ability to compete (I enjoy competition, and enjoy winning even more), and will also meet my needs for keeping me fit while contributing to my cardiovascular health. I have no desire to be on oxygen with a blood pressure monitor hooked up to me all the time when I'm 60.
The reasons stated above are essentially why I started running regularly, and why I am now a member here at RunnerSpace.com.