First I want to send my thoughts and prayers to everyone effected by the attacks at the Boston Marathon on Monday. And also say I am not doing Weigh in Wednesday today, this felt more important to say.
The tragedy on Monday got me thinking. I want to be a runner, but what is a runner? Is a runner someone who has run x amount of races at x speed? Earned x amount of medals? Someone who runs x number of times a week? Are all of these stipulations, with no clear quantitative value to them (hence the "x's") "required" to be a "runner"?
Does your perceived membership in the runners "club" really boil down to speed and experience? Is that what running is about? I don't really think so.
When I run, I feel strong. I feel like I can do anything in the world. I feel "high". When I run, I feel proud. I feel healthy. I feel athletic. When I run, I feel like a runner.
I may not be as fast as other runners, or as experienced, but I don't think that matters. I feel bound to these other athletes by the shared experience and feeling. I may have only just run my *first mile, but I have caught the bug. I have run two 5K's (well done two 5K's, there was very little running involved) and I don't want to stop there. I want to run my first half next year. That is a lofty goal, but I know I can achieve it.
So from now on, I am no longer going to say "I want to be a runner," I AM a runner.