How do you earn the title of “runner?” For many years I believed a true runner woke up at 5 am and ran in the cold, rain, snow, or blistering heat. A runner pushed through speed workouts, tempo runs, and endless long runs. A runner trained for marathons. A runner was sleek and lean. A runner pushed through exhaustion, pain, and sickness. That runner was me.
However, being a “runner” was just a mask. I hid behind my pride and personal accomplishments. There was a void in my life. I filled it with running. If I ran…I didn’t have to deal with anxiety, loneliness, or sadness. After meeting my husband, getting a job, and having children. I no longer needed the distraction of running. I felt free. I no longer had to fill a void.
But…I began to miss being a “runner.” I longed for those quiet moments at 5:30 am to be alone, pray, think, and enjoy God’s creation.
It has not been easy to regain back the title of “runner.” I have been plagued by injury due to childbirth. I am much slower. My body does not respond well to speed-work. My runs are no longer 6 or 7 miles…they are sometimes only 15minutes before my baby wakes up. I no longer train for marathons…I train for motherhood.
Despite all of these setbacks. I have redefined what it means to be a true “runner.” A runner is not defined by their pace. A runner tries…even if it ends in walking. A runner desires to run… a mile, a 5k, or a marathon. A runner does not fit a specific body type. A runner strives to get better.
You are a runner if you desire to be.