Welcome to Thursdays Random Thoughts...
What makes you a runner?
The eternal question.
Is there some specific milestone that needs to be achieved in order for one to rightfully call themselves a runner? A magical pace? A distance achieved? A certain number of races completed? When you hear the word “runner” what or who do you think of?
The answer is YOU. You are what makes you a runner!
I feel like there is often a stereotype associated with runners. I hear this most frequently from newbies. They most often maintain that they run, or they jog, but they are not sure that they are “a runner” by title. I can admit this is something I struggled with for quite a while. I didn't "feel" like I had earned it yet, that I wasn't on the same level as the runners I was looking up to. Let me tell you- you're wrong.
* Merriam-Webster will tell you that a runner is “A person who runs as part of a sport, for exercise, or in a race”.
Ok, so we’ve started to narrow it down. To be a runner, you have to run. Got it.
You don’t have to reach any specific milestones, you don’t have to run any specific way. But you do have to run. Where is the tipping point? When do you go from running to being a runner?
I believe it lies not in the physical act of running, but in the mental/spiritual/emotional (however you want to describe the non-physical) aspect of running. Every run may not be fun, or pleasant, or easy, or even enjoyable. But running is an undeniable part of your life. Your heart, legs, lungs and mind all connect, and in that moment, for some it might be just a simple mile, or some it's that race that you counted the days down to! Anyone who is making the effort to get out and pound the pavement, explore the trails or run on the treadmill is considered a real runner to me. YOU ARE A RUNNER. People of any size, shape, color, gender, or age can run. There isn’t an official document you have to sign. Heck you don’t even have to race to be a runner. You don’t have to look a certain way to run. In fact, I know some people who run double-digits almost every day of the week and do not fit the stereotype.
In the end, we all have the ability to run. That innate gift of running may have seeded itself deep in your soul making you a runner, or maybe it hasn’t. Maybe you run purely for the physical gains and benefits for your body. Maybe you run because it sets your soul on fire.
Either way, when running has become part of your life, it should be a healthy, enjoyable, and long-lived part. Educate yourself, invest in your running and your body.
Dream Big. Work Hard. ❤️