Back in January, I decided my word of the year would be “run.” It meant lots of things, not just a physical run, but of all the things that came from that word, my acceptance of calling myself a runner has become the most apparent. I ran places in 2014. I ran races. I ran through hard moments. I ran early in the morning and late at night. I ran in the thick of summer when you’d start sweating just from stretching. I ran when it was so cold I couldn’t feel my hands. I ran in snow. I ran on treadmills in front of TVs. I ran with my dad, I ran with friends, I ran with strangers. In 2014, I ran.
I was hesitant for so long to say I was a runner. I don’t look like a runner. I don’t think I run as fast as a runner should run. I don’t know how to run well, I just lace up my shoes and run. Sometimes I enjoy it, but mostly I don’t. It’s a fight almost every time. But I just do it because I want to be a runner and I like how I feel afterwards. I thought being a runner meant one day it would click and I would just magically love running, that I wouldn’t constantly struggle to get out there, that I would look forward to a run.
And those things have happened occasionally. But they are elusive. I normally dread a run. Because I over-think it and am good at talking myself out of things, I tell myself how bad it’s going to be or how I can’t do it.
I am my own worst enemy, I get that. That isn’t true just for running.
But I’m here to tell you, yell it if I have to, that I AM A RUNNER. I run. I own running things, I have some race shirts, I run because it makes me feel strong, I run because I like to torture myself. In 2014, I became a runner.