When I talk running with non runners they are usually in awe as I give my current weekly mileage or latest long run. I would lie if I said it didn’t flatter my ego. Sure it feels good to hear that, but as I always say I’m by no mean the fastest runner, nor the longest distant runner. I train for it. I practice adding the miles, training my body, fueling. I make goals and strategies to get there.
But those talks often lead to an other common sentence: “My body isn’t meant to run”. Really? That’s your excuse?
I’m sorry but I’ve had to take lessons not to drawn in water, I had to take lessons and buy gear to ski down the slopes. But running? Running is primal. You learn to crawl, then walk, then run. Not by being taught lessons but just because it’s right. Instinct.
I’m not basing this on any research mind you. But running seems like a primal thing to me. You need to run to escape danger, to catch a prey, to protect a loved one. We run as kids, after a ball, to a tree, just for fun, because it feels good. It’s not because you grow a few feet or inches that your body changes that much.
So no, I don’t believe you when you tell me that your body isn’t meant to run. Sure it is. One foot in front of the other and pick up the pace. Now you may never be able to run farther than half a mile, you might never break a 5 minute mile (I doubt I will), but you can run. Anyone can run.
People think they have to achieve amazing speeds or distances to be runners. Nope. Just tie your laces, put on your Fivefingers or just go barefoot. What matters in running is to put one foot in front of the other and keep going until you’re done. When I read through the Complete Book of Women’s Running it’s one of the things I came across. Being a runner is not defined by speed, mileage, nor even by how many times a week you run. No, being a runner is defined by your head. If you feel like one, if you find joy in it, sorry to say but that makes you a runner.