What “I’m a Runner” means to me

Tank : ℅ YogaOutlet  |  Pants : TJ Maxx (similar)  | Shoes : New Balance

 

Running for a long time was something I told myself I couldn’t do. In middle and high school I was very self-conscious about my body type (I still waiver on and off with those issues – read this post if you do, too.) and about how my peers perceived me. I wouldn’t do anything I was bad at. That meant at  weekly frisbee games, instead of running around and trying, I’d sit on the sidelines and watch, too worried I wouldn’t catch a toss or would be huffing and puffing too much. That meant if someone jokingly said, “Race you!” while we were out and about, my stomach would turn over with dread. That meant that I didn’t try out for any high school sports, even if I had wanted to do so.

About a year ago I started a new journey with running. A friend wanted to run a 5k, so I thought, sure, I’d train with her! I didn’t commit to the 5k right away, but I tried. I’m not sure what changed in me then – I think a lot of it had to do with the fact she wasn’t a “runner,” either. (right, Mosby? :))

Almost a year and half later, I run on my own. I run with new friends I hardly know (scary, right?!), and I’m not afraid for others to see me. In fact, I’m proud. I proudly call myself a runner and, I won’t lie,  a little pride swells up inside when someone else refers to me as a runner.

The other day I sat down and pondered why I love calling myself a runner now, something I never believed to be possible… here’s why.

Calling myself a runner reminds me I’m strong.

Running is hard! It takes work, it takes dedication and it takes a lot of pushing. But it strengthens my muscles, builds my endurance and teaches me hard things. The day I ran my fastest mile ever, that day I couldn’t help but be filled with joy because I accomplished something I literally never imagined possible.

Calling myself a runner reminds me I can be disciplined.

Anyone else out there commit to doing things all too often than you never follow through with? I know I can’t be the only guilty party here – and it sucks, flat out. I commit to too many hang outs, Bible studies, free side-jobs (AKA blog designs & invitations for friends), and other responsibilities… and I often get discouraged when I fail or come up short. But you know what tells me I don’t always have to fail? The fact I can make myself run – which is a very hard thing. Also note, “not failing” in this includes not only following through with my commitments, but also saying “no” when I genuinely can’t handle something… the latter is most often the hardest.

Calling myself a runner reminds me I’m capable.

Anyone else ever feel not equipped to accomplish something? Maybe it’s a goal you’ve had in the back of your mind for a while, or a job you want to apply for, but you just don’t feel qualified? It seems too far from your already-stretched reach? Well, I wasn’t qualified to call myself a runner in the beginning, but I did it anyway. And then I became one. Running reminds me I’m able to grow, push myself, and get after those dreams that feel so far away.

If you’re a runner, do you feel that same pride swell up when you call yourself a runner? Or when someone else does? What does being a runner mean to you?

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I received the blue tank above from YogaOutlet.com in exchange for a review, but rest assured all opinions are my own. I received two tanks from them – the royal blue tank pictured above and the light blue “goal digger” top I posted on Instagram – both of which were the quality I expected. I’ve been more than pleased with their service and timely delivery of my order. You can check out their Summer Sale items here and can use the code BRIDGEPOSE for 15% off your first purchase.