Friday, April 23, 2010

Because I am.

I am a runner.

This is a fundamental piece of the puzzle of me.

Running is not just a way for me to keep fit. It's not just a hobby.

Running is a way of life. It affects what I do and don't do, and when I do and don't do it, on a daily basis. It affects what I do and don't eat, when I go to sleep at night, when I wake up in the morning. I just turned down a chance to earn some extra money at work because I need to do a long run that morning. It affects everything.

Running is one of my greatest joys and greatest frustrations. Most of my favorite "life stories" involve running in some way. Most of my proudest accomplishments involve running. The only magazine I subscribe to is Runner's World. If I listed my top five happiest moments, three involve running.

And I've spent years pretending it's not such a big thing.

I never wear running related apparel or running shoes if I'm not running. I never wear race shirts if I'm not running (even the ones I love and don't want to wear to run because I don't want to ruin them because I want them to be "real" clothes). I have a box in the basement filled with medals from marathons I've run. I have another box in the basement filled with other assorted awards (like wooden shoes, random trophies, stained glass pine trees, etc.). There are no race related photos or posters on display in my home or classroom. If someone asks how a race went (if there's even any knowledge that I ran a race at all), I say "fine" and move on.

Why? Why do I do that? Why do I give no credence, no respect, to something that is so vital to my existence?

Because I don't want to seem like a show-off. And I don't want to seem like a poser. And I worry I'm not good enough.

That's the reason. That has always been the reason. And you know what? It's a stupid reason. Because I'm not a show-off. And I'm not a poser. (And I'll always worry I'm not good enough.)

I see runner people who are show-offs. I see runner people who are posers. I see runner people who are just runner people. Lots of people in all categories.

And I know what category I fall in to.

So those really awesome race shirts I've got? I'm going to start wearing them (like, out in public!). And that really cute photo of Hubby and me where I've got a medal around my neck? It's going in a frame. I may even turn a wooden shoe into a pencil holder.

I'm going to stop denying my love and just be a runner.

Because I am a runner.


Bacardi Mama said...

You have no idea how happy this post makes me. I've been waiting for you to realize this for so long. You are a runner and you should be proud of yourself like I am proud of you. It is an awesome thing you do. Let that light shine. It doesn't make you a show off or a poser. It makes you a runner and that is a wonderful, awesome thing. Love you!!

Lyndsay said...

I think I was looking at that picture just minutes ago! It's a great one and I'm glad it's going in a frame.
You go girl!

WackyMummy said...

It's good to acknowledge such a vital part of you. That's really great. I'd boast a teeny bit, if I were you, because it sounds like you've got a lot of amazing accomplishments through running. I don't think I'll ever do a marathon (I'm not, nor ever will be, a runner), but you've got a box of medals from marathons? That's a unique accomplishment, something definitely to be proud of! Go boast a little! ;)

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

I'm so happy you decided to share something so important to you and to who you are! I'm total crap at running, so I definitely admire people like you for whom it is a joy. It sounds like you have some amazing achievements and I think that is just simply fantastic!!

Heart2Heart said...

I love this post because you are true to yourself. I would never consider you a poser or a show off but simply someone who has a love for things she is proud she has accomplished much like a mom who share pictures of their kids or stories of what they have done.

We all need more stories and shared moments of the good times, too often all we hear about are the bad ones.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your proudest moments and the stories of your achievements.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Anonymous said...

you said i would love it and i love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!!. you rock...plain and show it!

InTheFastLane said...

You should not be afraid to put this part of you out there. I have a hard time with that myself, these days. I seem to think of myself as a has-been runner, even though I am still doing it. but now, it hurts more than it should, and I feel like one of those posers :) Maybe we will run into each other a couple weekends from today?