Some would say running comes naturally to just about everyone. Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run suggested everyone’s natural-born inclination is to run and should do it barefoot.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it to any runner. However, I cannot in good faith say we were all born to run.
There are those, like the elites, who really were born to run fast. Deena Kastor is a good example. In her memoir, she shares the story of her first race. She simply ran fast without any idea about what she was doing and would have won had she not had it in her head to follow the girl ahead of her without question. Deena Kastor had natural talent even before puberty. Most of us, however, are not Deena Kastor.
Running, for me and I believe many of us, is hard. I love it, but it’s hard. I suppose on some level I love it because it is hard.
In my thirties, I started distance running (half marathon or more) because I missed my grandmother so much I didn’t know what else to do. And in running, I found a new way to connect with her, and nature, and myself. I loved running because of that, but it was tough to stick with.
Running takes dedication, practice, discipline, patience, planning, research, and gear, for those of us who prefer to run with shoes and clothes and water.
If you are doing these things and you are out there on the pavement, trail, road, track or anything in between, you are a made-to-run runner. You are making yourself into a runner with each step, mile, race.
Speed is another area where a lot of us feel like imposters. I’m an incredibly slow runner. Slow AF. But, as the saying goes, I’m still lapping anyone sitting on the couch. 💥
Being slow doesn’t preclude me from running or writing about running or calling myself a runner, nor should it you. If you’re a slow, fast, full-figured, part-time, walk-more-than-you-run, or any other type of runner, YOU ARE A RUNNER.
Don’t let the doubts or lack of confidence creep into your thinking. Guard your heart and mind from such negativity. When you lace up or step out the door for a run, know you’re a runner.
You belong to this crazy community of runners, and I’m happy you’re here. Say it with me, “I am a runner.”
Now go for a run, runner.