This morning as I strapped on my hydration belt (belt with water bottles attached to it), I laughed to myself thinking about the first time I had ever contemplated buying one two years ago. The only thing I could think was- “I don’t know, I’m not really a runner.”
But what did I think I was? I had begun running back in that April (2013) after quitting smoking and made my way through a bunch of races only to sign up for the fall RVA half marathon. Sure, sometimes I did much more walking than running, but at the end of the day the word “runner” simply means “someone that runs”. And I did that. But yet I couldn’t give myself permission to buy something that would only stand to make my life easier. Heck, at worst I could’ve worn it around shopping because having water around isn’t really ever a bad idea. But, I put it back and didn’t end up buying one until this summer. 2 years into my running adventure before I had the confidence to buy it.
But I was always a runner. I’m not more of a runner today than I was 2.5 years ago. The day I put on a pair of running shoes and took the first step in a journey that would lead me (literally) over a thousand miles was the day I became a runner. Not now, then. I have a lot more confidence and advice to give now, but I’m not more of a runner. I’m able to be more of a support beam for other runners, but I’m not more of a runner.
We are all runners. From those of us that run a fraction of the time to those of us that win races. And yet I hear so many people say the same thing that I said: I’m not really a runner. But, yes, you are. From the moment you take that first few steps, you are a runner..
So don’t be surprised if you tell me “I’m not really a runner” and I don’t believe you.