“I am a runner because I run. Not because I run far. Not because I run fast. I am a runner because I run.”
I am a runner…I’m pretty sure I couldn’t hide this fact about myself if I wanted to, which I don’t! I am a happy runner, a proud runner, and a dedicated runner – it is ingrained in me now. But at what point did I transition from someone who was simply introducing exercise into my life in order to feel better to actually considering myself a runner? Was it one moment that flipped the coin, or was it a combination of many moments? There are plenty of things that remind me (and all of my family and friends!) every day that I am a true runner. Here is a brief but entertaining list –
– The amount of clothes I now have to wash has doubled, and the basket is overflowing with mostly sweaty running clothes.
– If I see someone else running and I am not running, jealousy strikes.
– I have never been so excited about buying socks in my life, nor have I ever been so willing to pay so much for only one pair.
– I enjoy shopping for running clothes more than anything else now…and I think my wardrobe mostly consists of running attire at this point. Actually, I know it does.
– Race fees: they have their own line on my budget now. Priorities and all.
– New running shoes = happiness. Enough said.
– Rest days are brutal on me because it means I can’t run!!
– Calluses on my feet…yup…those happened. But I am actually oddly proud of them; they remind me of my journey and all of the miles I have pushed through over the years.
– If I am injured, I worry about not being able to run rather than the fact that my body is actually hurt. Not being able to run is just not okay – it makes me an emotional mess!
– My perfect Friday night is staying at home to hydrate, fuel up on pasta, and get to bed early in preparation for my Saturday morning long run. Again, priorities.
– When I see a car with a running sticker on the back window I smile and think “Oh look, another runner!”
– Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic makes me want to get out of my car and run home. I could get there much faster that way, right!?
– Pretty much anything can be related back to running, just ask me.
– My social media is often filled with updates on my latest run, personal records, pace, or distance. Don’t hate.
As silly as this list may seem, all of them are true and have come about as a result of me being a runner. But none of these make me a runner. The moment I became a runner was the moment I laced up my tennis shoes, walked out my front door, and ran for the very first time. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back on that day I now know. I had made a choice, and thankfully, I never looked back. I certainly wasn’t fast on that day…I had little to no endurance…I didn’t make it far…and I definitely didn’t enjoy running yet AT ALL. But there is no checklist or set of criteria you have to meet in order to be a runner. You don’t have to be a certain age or have a certain body type. There is no particular moment that has to happen to you. You are a runner simply because you run….
To all of my fellow runners out there…what reminds you (and all of those around you) every day that you are a runner? And was there a specific moment you look back on and recognize as the moment you became a runner? If you aren’t yet a runner but have a small dose of curiosity of what it’s all about…my advice to you is just run…you will never look back and regret it. Find your moment and celebrate it forever.
Happy running everyone!!