Am I A “Real” Runner?

When I was in elementary school and it was time for PE, I stood in a long line as the teacher chose two team captains. These team captains (my peers in school) now decided who was on their team by picking from this line of kids…

I hated this process.

I was the kid who was chosen last or second to last and it sucked. No one likes rejection or the obvious fact pointed out in front of everyone else that you are, in fact, terrible at sports.

When I embarked on my exercise journey at the age of 39 I chose jogging because it was cheap and I could do it alone. I started with old running shoes (not recommended) and whatever clothing I had in my closet that somewhat resembled workout gear.

Initially I thought if I didn’t run the entire time I was not considered a ‘real’ runner. If I walked, I thought I was a failure.

This is rubbish.

I like intervals of running 8 minutes and walking 2 minutes. With this method, I ran 40k on my 40th birthday and the full marathon (42k) on my 42nd birthday. It works for me.

Many runners know how fast they can run a certain distance. I have no idea how fast or slow I run 10k or any other distance.

I don’t have a personal best time for my running events…I measure PBT with who I’m with and how I’m physically feeling…what’s the weather like…did I laugh? What’s the scenery? Did I talk to people and say hello? That’s my personal best time. I realize other’s like to challenge themselves with PBT and that’s a personal choice I respect because there are no rules!

Some find it offensive if they are referred to as ‘joggers’ instead of ‘runners’.

I have a friend who refers to his running as ‘plodding’. I personally think he’s a far better athlete than what he gives himself credit for (he runs half marathons)…but if he wants to call it plodding…so be it…as far as I am concerned he is a runner…a jogger…a plodder…HE IS OUT THERE DOING IT AND THAT IS WHAT COUNTS.

If I wear cotton sometimes (and I do)…does that make me any less of a runner?

If I don’t have a proper sports bra (don’t get me started on those things) and actually wear two bras to get the support I’m looking for am I an embarrassment to the runners of the world?

What if I don’t have a Garmin?!

Do my personal choices mean my running accomplishments aren’t as significant?


When I compare mySELF to who I was before I ran and who I am NOW…

I am a BETTER person.

I am a HAPPIER person.

I may not be the fastest, fanciest, smartest, sveltest runner on the seawall…but I am a thousand times better than I was and I continue to enjoy the art of running…the exploration of my capabilities and challenging my physicality…the meditation of the road…the silence of the trails…the absolute JOY running with others…and the continual self knowledge and self awareness jogging, running, plodding, walking, MOVING has given me.

  • CELEBRATE getting off the couch, putting on your workout gear and getting out the door!
  • CELEBRATE challenging yourself, having fun and getting exercise in some way.
  • CELEBRATE your accomplishments.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend full of fresh air and FUN!

With a smile,



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