With All My Sole

The Moment I Became a Runner

“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!!

    Shoelaces Face

FLY, My Darling

“To love yourself is to understand that you don’t need to be perfect to be good”

FLY. First love yourself, that is. It’s not something we are born automatically knowing how to do, but life sure is easier once we figure out how. Many of us struggle with it for a large portion of our lives, which, let’s just be honest…really sucks. I know exactly how this struggle goes…we question our abilities, wonder if we are good enough, and even wish we had different or “better” qualities within ourselves. All along, not appreciating the talents and qualities we do have to offer the world. Learning to love yourself is not an easy task (at least not in my opinion), but it is a necessary component of true happiness. We spend our lives longing for others to love us, accept us, and welcome us into their hearts, but what about doing this for ourselves. How wonderful would it be to reach the point where we are comfortable in our own skin, we are accepting of ourselves just the way we are, and we love all of the things that make us…well…us! I have spent most of my life caring way too much about what other people think about me. Somewhere along the line it began to feel like I was changing who I really was in order to make them happy. All of this negative energy was going into what others thought about me, and I rarely stopped to think about myself and my own happiness. And when you spend long enough trying to please others and constantly worry about their perception of you, you end up putting your own thoughts and feelings on the backburner. I did this for a very long time, but thankfully, I finally started questioning it, and I have made major steps in the right direction to start flying… Read more

A Healthy Dose of Vacation

 

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul” – Robert Wyland

Oh happiness, it’s vacation time. This week I get to write from my beach chair with my toes in the sand, the sun soaking into my skin, and the ocean air blowing through my hair. My thoughts are rolling in with the waves, and I am enjoying the opportunity to relax, write, and just be still in these moments throughout the week. The beach is so beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing, and it offers just what my body, mind, and soul have been craving: time to recharge, to take a break from my day-to-day responsibilities, and to enjoy time with my family without any distractions.

In the days leading up to our vacation someone asked me if I was going to run or rest. My answer…running is my resting. This moment that I am sitting in right now…the clear blue skies, toes in the sand, cool breeze against my skin, and the relaxing sounds of the waves rolling in…this moment is happiness and relaxation all rolled into one big beach ball. And this is exactly how I feel when I run…happy, relaxed, and at peace with myself (of course add a little exhaustion and sweat, but still, I absolutely love it). Clearly the two are completely different scenarios, but if I could bottle up the way this moment makes me feel sitting here on this beach as well as the way I feel when I am running, both bottles would be overflowing with these same positive emotions. So, running is my resting and yes, I am lacing up my tennis shoes and getting some miles in this week. I have actually been very excited about being able to run on the beach during on this trip!

This question of running or resting got me thinking about other questions often pondered…

Should you exercise on vacation or take a break? Read more

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