I see a post from a friend about their recent 100 mile race and it sneaks up on me.
I hear it in my head.
"I’m not really a runner."
It's the naysayer in me.
It tells me that I don’t run enough, I don’t put in enough miles, I don’t do enough races, trail runners run way more than I do.
I get emails from many of you saying things like, "Am I running enough to be in the Runners of the Wild?""I am not really a runner because I only run on the weekends."
And I get it.
This is the naysayer in us comparing us to others.
And here's why we shouldn't let it.
- Running is a sport that has a drastic range of participation from those who run around the block once in a while to the most regimented ultra runners.
- We are using the wrong systems of measurement. Those of distance, speed, body type, or the frequency of your runs.
- Instead, the value of running should be measured on how we feel during and after a run. It is the time for ourselves, the benefits it creates for our mind and body and the people we meet through it. This is why we run and what we connect on.
When I ignore the measurements, I can feel good about running my way- doing the races I want to do and my own kind of adventures. Because we all have our own path.
I see it in your stories that you send me and your posts. We have all types of runners in our community; the casual weekend trail runner, the 100 milers, the non racers, the half marathoners, all races, genders, ages, and body types.
This is what makes it special. Our Runners of the Wild team is made up of all runners. What connects us is the way we feel when we are out on the trail.
And I'd like to say something to all of you.
No matter how much or how fast you run, you fight through mental resistance to do something that you know is good for you.
You give yourself time to be on your own outside, to think, to decompress, to push yourself, to feel your heart beat faster, to move your legs like you did as a kid.
You are strong. You have grit.
You are a runner.
This is what the Runners of the Wild is all about- a community of every type of runner. What connects us is our desire to run, to feel a little more wild, to be our true selves.