Running is a special thing. It’s something you feel in your soul, not just something you do. It’s a passion that holds deep emotional roots. You love it, yet you hate it. Running makes you cry. Running makes you hurt especially when your toenails fall out. Running plays tricks on your mind making you psycho analyze your Garmin. But when you’re pounding the pavement, nothing in the world matters. Running sets you free. Makes you feel strong. Running makes you feel anything and everything in the world is within reach.
I remember when I ran track in school how much I wanted to love it, yet deep down all I did was hate it. Running a mile in gym class was my least favorite thing to do in the world. If I had been able to run with music I’m sure I would have become a dedicated runner much soon run life, but back then there were only walkmans and CD players that were impossible to run with. I remember wearing a fanny pack with a huge walkman banging against my back. I just aged myself by a lot of years.
It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I really discovered my true love of running. A few years later I got hurt really bad and didn’t come back to it until my 30’s. Now with my recent medical issues, it’s been over a year since I’ve been able to run. When I’m at the gym and see someone running on a treadmill, I look up and think to myself why can that person run and I can’t? I’ll admit I feel envious, hurt and jealous that people twice my age or twice my size can do something I want to do so badly. I was even ousted from a Phoenix running group last year because I couldn’t run for so long due to my injuries. I’m sure Shane would agree it was a healthy departure for both of us though.
Instead of lamenting in self pity, I’ve pushed it out of my thoughts these last months. But they were always there in the back of my mind lingering like a thief. In many ways, it felt like a death. Something I needed to mourn. Eventually I moved on, accepting I was no longer a runner. I found other forms of fitness to fill the void of running although not the same raw connection. During this time, I’ve been too busy recovering from injuries to notice whether or not I was still a runner.
[Tweet “Are You Still A #Runner If You Can’t #Run #RunChat #Running @FitFluential @FitApproach”]
Then a few months ago, Suz asked if I’d contribute a few articles to a running site. I told her I hadn’t run in a long time to which she responded “you’re still a runner.” Those words stung me like a thousand bee stings when I read them. I asked her “are you still a runner if you can’t run?” to which she responded…
“Running is something that lives within you, you may not do it anymore, but it will always be part of you.” Susie Lemmer
It was the first time I thought about it that way and she’s right. Running is something inside you. Something you feel, not something you do. Running is more than running shoes, cute shorts, a Garmin that fails you a thousand times, the number of races you do or the time you put into pounding the pavement. Running is much more. It’s something that lives in your soul that never dies.
So are you still a runner if you can’t run? The answer is yes. A thousand times yes only with better toenails and a normal appetite. Thanks Suz for reminding me who I am. <3
[Tweet “You’re Still A #Runner Even If You Don’t #Run #RunChat @FitFluential”]
What something in you that never dies?
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Linking up today with Amanada for Thinking Out Loud