What Makes a Runner?
When you think of runners and what they “should look like,” what do you think? Aerodynamics (hairless), smooth physical appearance, lanky, long legs, fatless thighs, and thin ankles...
The truth is any body type/shape/age can run! As long as you don’t have physical limitations that prohibit you from running or a medical professional advising you not to, you can too!
People say they run for physical fitness, weight loss, companionship, and competition. I run because it’s meditative. It’s my time to think uninterrupted – only by my own other thoughts. It’s my time to daydream and fantasize. I can get happy and be happy during a run. I can feel alive – right when those endorphins kick in! Running slows my mind down and puts those unsettling thoughts in their respective places. It’s my opportunity to let go of things bothering me. It’s also my “me” time; my time away from all of my commitments and priorities in life.
Think about why you would run and use that as your motivation.
I’m going to talk about Judgment.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty. A lot of people say they won’t run because they think they look funny or they run wrong. Yes, that’s me! What have I learned? Everyone has their own style, their own form, and even their own waddle. And it is all OK!! Don’t let it get in the way of your own running experience because you think you’ll look bad. Running isn’t easy and it takes a lot of skill, grace, and years to make running look good! When I’m driving along the road or stuck indoors and see a runner pass by I NEVER think – boy, they sure do look funny. I always think DAMN – I wish that were me. They are so lucky to be running right now!
I’ve spent a lot of time on the treadmill. My #1 favorite activity is cranking up my go-juice music. My #2 favorite activity is people watching. I have zero judgment and a whole lot of Ah ha! Moments. And MANY, MANY compulsions to jump off my treadmill and run up to people and hug them, pat them on the back, and tell them how awesome they are! To the guy who sweats buckets each run, to the woman who is 100 pounds overweight and running, to the pregnant lady jogging, to the single mom who works three jobs, to the doctor who works tirelessly over his patients all day, to the truck driver who can’t move around during the day – KUDOS to all of you.
But, running SUCKS!!
Yes, I won’t sugar coat it. Not everyone that takes that first or second step feels the runners high or even feels GOOD when running. I run 3-5 times a week and EVERY SINGLE TIME I FEEL LIKE HELL until I hit my pace. I’ve gotten better since I started running because it used to be the 3 mile mark when I’d feel the rush of running happiness. Time and magic have lowered that earmark down to about 1.3 miles on average. It’s at that point that I stop repeating in my mind “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate myself for doing this” to “ahhhhhh I feel reeeeeal gooood.” I wouldn’t equate it to what they call a runner’s high. It’s really just a “groove.” My heart rate regulates, my breathing regulates, everything in my mind and body stops spazzing and trying to tell me “it’s much easier to just take a nap, eat a pizza, watch tv” than do this!!
Running hurts. Let’s face it – running is hard on your body. Your muscles and joints get sore from running. Your body will even be sore from NOT running! It’s all a part of the process and the joy/reward you get from knowing you are pushing yourself and that you are alive.
Go slow!! It’s ok to jog. It’s ok to walk. You don’t have to run rabbit speed the duration! Listen to your body, watch your heart rate, and go with the comfortable flow. You set yourself up for immediate failure if you set your standards for speed and distance too high. Be easy on yourself and you’ll build your tolerance up!
Really now, what am I saying here? To all of you – runners, non-runners, runner wanna-bes:
There is no right or wrong body type.
You can run for any reason - just find the one that excites you!
No one in their right mind is judging you.
Running sucks and that's ok. It won't always suck.
Go buy yourself a pair of good running shoes, lace up, and hit the road.