It’s like writing–the only qualification to call yourself a writer is that you write. The only requirement to be a runner is that you run.
Still, I’ve had trouble telling myself (and others) that I’m a runner.
Why? Is it because I don’t actually enjoy running? Or because if I call myself a runner then I think I’ll be held up to higher standards?
Yes. Both. But the truth is, I run. So I’m a runner.
It took getting a gift card to a running store from my boss–and thinking it was a great, thoughtful gift–to force me to admit it. So here it is:
I’m not the fastest runner; certainly not the most consistent; don’t have the best form; have no clue if I can actually succeed in my marathon plan next year; most days choose sleeping in over going for a jog…and yet, I push myself to do better; go home early to get a good rest for a morning race; spend money on running gear; eat healthier so I can help fuel my runs; understand the singular feeling of traveling to the starting line with hundreds of other humans, all in the name of putting one foot in front of the other thousands of times, just so I can cross the finish line and eat a bagel, which seems like such a silly goal but feels so wonderful as the sweat runs down my face and I declare proudly, though usually not out loud, I did this.
I am a runner.