My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

I’m not a runner like you

on June 12, 2015

When I first started running, I was reluctant to call myself a runner.

I thought of runners as those who have been running most of their lives; those who have always loved running; those who run fast.

I was none of those.

This is just my third year running; I hated running as a kid; and I most certainly am not fast — there are people who walk faster than I run.

And I always thought runners looked a certain way.  They were lean and muscular and athletic-looking.  Definitely not me.

I would often watch others running and think “I’m not like them.  I’m not a real runner.”

 

But here’s the thing:

None of that matters.

NONE OF IT! 

When you start running, you’re a runner.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve run all your life or are just starting out.

It doesn’t matter if you run for fun or for a purpose.

It doesn’t matter if you have the latest in running gear.

All that matters if that you go out there and run.

 

One of the things I’ve discovered about the running community is that everyone is welcome.

It is a very inclusive community.

And I love that.

We all want to feel like we belong, that we are a part of something.

And when I started running, I found that.

I’ve met a lot of people through running; even made a few friends.  People I probably would not have met otherwise.

When you talk to another runner, you have an immediate connection.

 

Another thing I learned is there is no such thing as a “typical runner”.

All runners are different.

We have different paces; run different races.

We have different gear; have different rituals.

We run long, short, fast, and slow.

We run in good weather and bad; when it’s hot and when it’s cold.

Some follow plans; others just go with the flow.

But we are all part of one big family.

And we welcome new members all the time.

All you have to do is lace up your shoes and run.

 

In running, I found something in me I didn’t know was there; and a part of me I didn’t know was missing.  I found strength and confidence.  I discovered I’m capable of more than I knew.  I surprise myself often with what I can accomplish.

Running helps me find solutions to problems that have been nagging at me.  I’m able to clear my mind.  I can sort of zone out and just listen to my feet hit the pavement.

Running has helped me learn more about the town I live in.  It’s helped me appreciate the beauty around me.

If I’m feeling blue or stressed out, going for a run almost always makes me feel better.

There is something empowering about running.

And as much as I hated it as a kid, I actually love it now.

I’m not fast.  I’m not lean and muscular.  I’m not athletic-looking.  I’m not what other’s might think of as a “typical” runner.

So no, I’m not a runner like you … I’m a runner like me.

And that’s how it should be.

 

runner

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