You have a good life, a job, a family and friends but something is missing? You’re a bit bored, you’re looking for a new challenge, a new purpose or just for something that is exclusively for you and gives you time for yourself?

I have just the thing for you:

Sign up for a race! Better yet, sign up for a race with some friends!

Last Sunday three girlfriends and I did the Half Moon Bay Super Sprint Triathlon. And even though it was my 8th triathlon and one of multiple other races, I still get very excited about a race and usually don’t sleep very well the night before. Every time when I have to pack all that stuff the previous day and have to get up super early on race day, I keep asking myself: Why am I doing this again?? But every time after you finish you know why. You feel happy, great, accomplished and strong. You’re riding the post-race wave! And the celebration after the race is absolutely sublime, especially when they serve free Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! For two of my friends it was the first time ever doing a triathlon and for one of them it was even the first race ever! That was a big deal and they got a big reward out of it. On Monday one of my friends was still raving about how fantastic the post-race feeling is and that she feels high on life! Doing a race together with friends is especially great if it’s your first time. You get advice, support and you know someone else has to swim in this really cold ocean, too.

Participating in a race might not be the panacea for all problems you have to deal with at the moment, but it is definitely something worth trying, because it will empower you tremendously in many different ways. And it’s fun!! Now you might not consider yourself an athlete, but maybe you work out a few times a week to stay healthy and to maintain your shape? Then it’ll work for you, too. You don’t have to start with a marathon or a half ironman! Start small. Sign up for a 5k or 10k, a duathlon or a spring triathlon. Almost everyone I’d say can swim, ride a bike and run. “Races aren’t just for hard-core competitors; signing up for a race feeds training motivation while providing the opportunity to reach new distance or speed goals. Running races are offered throughout the world in a wide variety of distances, locales and intensity levels, which means that you can choose the race that’s just right for you.” (ehow.com, Beth Rifkin) Read more about the positive effects of running here.

Why self-empowerment? Read this. “By learning to empower yourself you learn to bring balance into your life. You will enjoy a life where you are in harmony with yourself and those around you.” (patch.com, Miles Smith)

Here are some of many reasons why you should sign up for a race:

Physical benefits: You will improve your health. Regular exercise can help you live a longer, more productive life and you will have more energy.

Mental benefits: You will build rock-solid-self-confidence and your mood will improve. Several studies are all in conclusion that exercise benefits us emotionally and psychologically. And it’s the hormones that provide these benefits. And the star players are serotonin, adrenaline, dopamine, and testosterone. If you want to read more about these hormones and why they make us feel better doing regular exercise click here.

Social benefits: Signing up for a race with others also offers accountability. If others are a bit faster than you, you will try to catch them. It’s good to train with people that challenge you, because you will become the best that you can be. Furthermore you will motivate and inspire those around you, maybe proof some doubters wrong and you will be a hero to your kids (and probably your spouse, too).

So, what are you waiting for? Get some new running shoes, look for a suitable race close to you and sign up!

While I was writing this post my clever friends and race buddies just signed up for the next triathlon (great, the pressure is on again!) and they’re already making plans for the post-race celebration, too, it’s in October for christ sake!! OMG, I have the coolest friends!!

Stay calm and race on!

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