I am a runner – as crazy as it sounds, this phrase still shocks me. I never thought I could be a runner, or that I wanted to be a runner. It seemed to out of reach, really because I had put it out of reach. But here I am, a runner who is learning how to get faster, and sometimes wins things. Who knew?!
So what does it mean to be a runner? It certainly doesn’t mean you are the best, that’s what practice is for. It doesn’t mean you are so dedicated that you run on a regular basis, let’s face it we all are busy and have lives. Being a runner means that you care, you try, and you set goals – whatever they may be. I think that is the single most important thing for a runner to do – set goals. This allows you to work toward something and feel accomplished when you attain it. Think about it: does anyone just go out and run in any direction, for any distance, at a random pace? No, you decide to jog around the block. Then it’s around your neighborhood. Before too long you’re doing sprint intervals and following crazy paths through the woods. It evolves as you go, and can be tailored for any phase of your life you happen to be in.
Running for a reason is one of the healthiest and most rewarding ways to do it. Me, I started running for my son, who can’t. You might decide you want to be leaner, or accomplish a goal like a half marathon or marathon. Whatever it is, let if be your mantra and hang on to it when the going gets rough. The going will get rough. Often. You need something to push you through. Imagine that bikini, or that medal around your neck! Whatever helps you put one foot in front of the other is your magic motivator. Don’t give up. Once I figured out it was always going to be hard at some point, running became a whole lot easier.
So what’s my point? If you want to be a runner, go out there and run. But don’t just do it willy-nilly. Set goals (so you can push yourself), get proper footwear (to save your feet, back and knees), and celebrate your milestones. Enjoy the sweat, too. Sometimes I think that’s the best part of the run. That and the beer and donuts and pizza and bagels and stuff.