So, I planned on writing this post today about sharing my love of fitness with those around me… and how sometimes striking a balance between sharing enough, and remembering that not everyone has the same affinity for sweat as I do can be difficult. Then last night, while I was finishing the post, I came across an article from the Wall Street Journal. It is written by someone who is one of the people that is sick of people like me talking about running. He talks about his disgust toward stores geared solely toward runners, especially when people go to those stores to buy clothes that say things about running on them (which I absolutely own). He goes on to say how much he hates the 26.2 and 13.1 bumper stickers that runners display on their cars, (you can be sure that if I had a car… as soon as I completed these races, I would have those stickers).
As I read the article I grew more and more frustrated, he was talking directly about ME and so many of my friends. Friends who do these things, and wear these clothes because they are proud of the hard work and dedication that they put into their training to be able to achieve a goal that once seemed insurmountable.
As I cooled off a little bit, I realized, what he doesn’t understand is that the running community is full of so much love. Love for each other, love of the pain and effort, and love of the sport. And if I had the chance to talk with him… what I would tell him is that all of those t-shirts he hates, all of the posts on Facebook about friends who are runners, all of the running magazines… they made me WANT to be a runner.
Long before I was a runner, I was surrounded by a running family. My parents run every morning together, my Aunt has run the NYC marathon 3 times, my cousin is a trail runner, and many of my extended family members run either purely for their health or for fun. I spent years enviously staring at their pictures, being jealous of their motivation to rise before the sun, and just overall wishing that I could be JUST like them. Their obsession with this sport that seemed completely unachievable to me at the time is what makes me so proud to finally call myself a runner today.
So, to the writer of “Ok, You’re A Runner. Get Over It.” I’m really never going to get over it. How can I get over something that changed my life so much? Running is so much a part of who I am now. I am honestly not sure what my life looks like without it anymore. And I’m going to keep proudly wearing the tech shirts from my races, reading articles from running magazines, and adding more and more mileage until I finally get to run a marathon. I will keep sharing the fitness love… because I think that there are other people like me out there. People who would KILL to be a runner but maybe think its unachievable for them. I want to say to them, truly, wholly, and honestly, that if I can do it, you can too! And you will learn that there is NOTHING in the world like crossing a finish line. It makes every exhausting mile, every ache, every pain, every tear, worth it.
If you’re interested in reading the rest of the article, you can find the link below!