Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Makes a Runner?

This post was quite unintentional, however after reading something this morning, it sparked a conversation in my head (that’s a scary place, folks). So I thought I would write it down and share with you……’re welcome.

I think one reason I enjoy (sometimes) running so much is because unlike other sports you don’t have to be the best of the best to do it. If you run, you are a runner, right?

Or wrong?

This is the way I have always thought, but maybe others do not agree. If I see a lady out running at 8:00 p.m. I think

“you go runner girl, get on with yo bad self.”

I don’t pay attention to her pace, her outfit, her hair. I don’t know if this is the first time she has ever ran, or if she has ran all her life. All I see is a girl…..running, and to me, she is a runner.

But does pace matter? Does the time of day you choose to run matter? Does the amount of races you have ran or the distances you have ran matter?

I look at my friend Jess, who rocked a 8:40 pace during her 22 mile run last week and I think:
“you’re not even human, but you f-ing rock!”

Do I feel like less of a runner because I couldn’t (read wouldn’t, shouldn’t, I would literally DIE) keep an 8:40 pace for that long? Do I look at her and think “oh I’m a runner but you’re MORE of a runner?”

For ME, the answer is no. Yes Jess is a FASTER runner, she is a longer DISTANCE runner, she is a more EFFECTIVE runner (her form makes her look like a gazelle, mine makes me look like Bambi learning to walk, are you picturing that, yeah it’s pretty bad) but we are both runners because we are out there doin’ our thing, running when we can, and trying to become better at it.

Will I ever be as fast, and effective as Jess? NO! Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I am going to just quit running all together.

Nowhere does it say:

“I am a runner……..unless I don’t run today, in that case YOU are more of a runner, unless you didn’t run yesterday, in that case I am the runner again, unless I can’t run this weekend, in that case Joe Blow is the REAL runner.”

(wouldn’t that be a funny t-shirt?)

Apparently EVERYONE and NO ONE is a runner.

I think what we (as runners) need to remember is that it doesn’t matter what time of day a person runs, how often they run, what their pace is, how many miles they’ve ran……..the most important thing is that when they do get out there to run, fast or slow, 1 mile or 20, we look at them and say:

“Good job sister friend (or brother friend), you are an amazing person, keep on keepin’ on.”

And it shouldn’t matter if they ran yesterday, or if today they are taking the day off. Running isn’t a competition to see who can run the most days, or the farthest. If that’s what it is about, then I quit. Right now, literally, I quit.

Because I didn’t start doing this to feel like I am being judged, or looked down on, or beaten up if, for some reason or another, I couldn’t run that day. I did it for ME, I did it so my kids can look back and say:

“ya know what, we drove Mom batshit crazy on a daily basis, and boycotted sleeping, and needed her attention ALL THE TIME, but she still did this one thing for herself. She got up before the sun most Saturday’s and ran. She entered these races and even though she didn’t come close to placing, and sometimes we wondered if she was EVER GOING TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE, she still did them. And that’s pretty awesome.”

Because it is.

Now let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya.

1 comment:

  1. Love your convo in your head, I have them constantly ( conversations in my head) while running! Thanks for sharing yours you rock runner girl!