Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Runner Defined

What is a runner? And, is it possible that I am a runner?

It’s a question I have asked myself numerous times over the past year. Really, what is a runner? Is a runner someone who runs 70+ miles per week? Someone who runs nothing shorter than a marathon race? Is a runner someone who has all of the latest running apparel/shoes and gadgets?

My previous definition of a runner was all of the above. I thought a runner was super-fast, ran super-far, and has been running for a…super…amount of years. Come to think of it, I thought anyone who even ran at all was a runner, with the exception of me. It wasn’t until January of this year, when one of my co-workers was talking about running to another co-worker and said, “Lynsey’s a runner” that I even contemplated myself as a runner. I promptly corrected my obviously misinformed co-worker, that I was not in fact a runner. “But, you run don’t you?”  She retorted. “Well…yeah, but I’m not a real runner.” And with a shrug of her shoulders and a roll of her eyes, the topic of my status as a runner was over.

What didn’t she understand? I am by no means fast. I could never get away with running in a sports bra and shorts (or skorts). I’ve never even run a half marathon, let alone a marathon. Sure I ran, but that doesn’t make me a runner…does it?

Well according to my good friends over at Merriam-Webster:
noun \ˈrə-nər\
One who runs.

Huh? One who runs? That’s it? Where’s the part of the definition that includes sponsorships, and 6 minute miles? A runner can’t simply just be one who runs, right? Wrong! I have come discover that it is that simple. A runner is one who runs. It’s funny, I’ve always said I’m not a “real” runner, but if I  wasn’t a real runner, than what was I? A fake runner? To all of those that think like I previously thought, I really want to put this out there, that it doesn’t matter how fast, far, or how much you run. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80 years old, what size pants you wear, or how long you have been running for. If you run, you’re a runner! I think as humans, we are our own worst enemies and we downplay ourselves. Either because we are just trying to seem humble or because we truly can’t fathom that we are good enough to hold the prestigious title. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be fearless when it comes to running, and part of that I believe is getting over the silly notion that I am not a runner. So, I am a runner! It’s in my blog name and it is something I am proud to say. I hope all of you will join me and “Say it loud…I’m a runner and proud!”

What is a runner to you?
Have you ever had trouble saying you were a runner?
If so, why?

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