I am a Runner!!!

I am a runner.  Three years ago I would have rolled on the floor laughing at that statement.  I've always been an un-athletic klutz.   My family just laughs when I fall down...it's normal for me.  After all, I've broken both arms and both legs...fortunately not at the same time.  (Okay, I did break both arms at the same time...but the legs were totally different events.)  I learned early on that sports were NOT for me.  Growing up I only played soccer, and I wasn't any good at it...so that only lasted a few seasons.

Until  January of 2011 I had never run any further that 1/2 a mile.  The only reason I ran that far was because I wanted to be in our district track meet in 6th grade...and I knew there was no way I would ever make it in any of the other events.  The race wasn't even included in our schools total score...it was really just for fun.  I was an alternate.  That evening I put on my school shirt, running shorts and a pair of tennis shoes (not even real running shoes) and went to the track meet.  Someone didn't show up, and I was in!!!  I was so excited. It was the last event of the evening (a time filler so they could tally all the scores).  We started running, and I was quickly in the back of the pack.  A couple of laps around the football field later I finished.  Of the 25 or so runners I was next to the last.  As I crossed the finish line someone handed me a piece of paper, trying to recruit me for the Jr. High cross country team.  I think I laughed.  I know I quickly deposited it into the nearest trash can.  Running was not for me.

For the next 25 years I didn't give running a second thought.  Running was only for those naturally athletic people. Then my brother started running...and he lost a lot of weight.  I had other friends that were running.  None of them had that typical runner's body.  You know the one...where they have only 2% body fat and can wear those skin tight, barely covers your rear running shorts.  It got me thinking.  If they can do it...I can too. 

2 1/2 years and lots of starts and stops later I'm a runner.  I'm a random runner...but still a runner. Some people may call me a jogger, but I disagree. I'm not a jogger...I'm a runner.  I've found a couple of explanations of the difference:

  1. Runners finish a mile in less that 9 minutes.  Okay...I guess this one doesn't apply to me.  I'm sure if I really tried I could do it ONCE.  You may have to pick me up off the ground, but I'm sure I could do it!
  2. Runners enter races.  Well, my collection of bibs (and a few participation medals) shows that I've done just that.  I haven't won anything (and probably won't)...but that's not the issue here.
  3. Running means that both of your feet are off the ground at the same time.  I can't really say yes or no on this one. All the pictures I have of myself have one foot on the ground.  I'm sure that if the races had better photographers there would be a picture of me with both feet up. That's my story...and I'm sticking to it.
  4. Jogging means "trotting at a leisurely pace."  Nothing about what I do is leisurely!  When I finish I covered in sweat and am worn out.  If this is "leisure" then I don't want to know what work is. (I may be smiling in the picture above, but that was because I knew there was a camera, I completed the race, and now I could walk.)
So here you have it.  I qualify in 3 out of 4 (once I work on that picture thing)...so I'm calling it running.  I'm a runner...and proud of it.  I'll never be a professional runner, I'm just happy to be a random runner.

ilovetorun.org | RUNNING CAN BE GIVEN

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