A while back I started running. I’m not really sure why. First my neighbor and I were going in the wee hours of the morning and then I was running on my own. And it was nice getting out early chatting with a friend as we made our way around the neighborhood. And it was nice by myself running with my head phones on blaring Born to Run.
I brought new running shoes and cute running clothes. I thought, “I am a runner”.
It felt great when I was finally able to run a mile without stopping to walk. And it felt even better when I ran 3 plus miles in my neighborhood, on my own in the quiet of the morning.
But then it stopped feeling good. First my knee started hurting, then my ankle. So I got a brace and it sort of helped, maybe a little. Then my back started to hurt. And it was dark and early and colder.
A month ago I stopped running because I am not a runner. I am not someone who thrills at the idea of running a marathon, though I wish I was. I’m not someone who aspires to train or to devote hours to running. I don’t sport Under Armor. I’m really bad at pacing myself and my shoes are always coming untied.
I am not a runner. And it is ok, totally ok.
You see I kept seeing all these friends on Facebook or elsewhere talking about how they run. I saw there status updates of how far they had made it on Couch to 5K or their check ins at the gym. And I wanted that. I wanted to be able to shout to the world, “Hey I exercise, I stay in shape, I care about being healthy too”. And that is true I do exercise and to do try to stay in shape and eat right and lead a healthy lifestyle.
I am not a runner but, I can still be all of those things. It was that realization that made it ok that I wasn’t a runner. I could be tons of things that other people aren’t a writer, a mother, a cook.
I’ve been reading The Happiness Project and in the book Gretchen points out that just because something makes someone happy doesn’t mean that it has to make me happy.
I’ve learned that I can’t define myself by what makes others happy. And I can’t define myself by the things I can’t do.
I am not a runner. It’s not for me, not right now, maybe not forever. Maybe come the spring when the weather warms up I will lace up my shoes and run again or maybe I’ll walk to my neighbors for a glass of wine. Either is fine.