I am not the fastest runner. The day I ran a mile in less than 9 minutes, I celebrated like I had run a mile in less than six.
I am not the strongest runner. I still pause to walk, to breathe through a stitch in my side, to climb the steepest part of a long hill.
I am not the best fueled runner. I love chocolate and gold-fish and peanut butter and popcorn and wine and cinnamon rolls and cake and chips with guacamole and salsa and ice cream and cookies and Pringles and everything good and delicious in this world.
I am not the most focused runner. I run 4 days a week and devote just as much time to lifting and yoga and walking at sunset with the man I love. I spend my time reading and rereading books. I write my own story and then rewrite it for hours on end.
I am not the happiest runner. I do not finish every run overjoyed with the simple act of it. I bemoan and procrastinate runs if I don’t get them done first thing in the morning. I think often about how good it would feel to get that extra hour of sleep or indulge in a glass of wine or ice cream on a Friday night.
But I am a runner.
I run. Four mornings a week, I wake up to lace my shoes. Just as the sun rises, or sometimes even before, I head out my front door and I run.
Three miles. Eight miles. Five miles. Nine miles. Eighteen miles.
I run. I try. I push through and sometimes I succeed but many times I don’t. Still, I run. I run when I feel like it and many times when I don’t. I run out of happiness and out of frustration, too. I run to clear my head of everything and I run to work out a problem. I run in the snow and in the rain and in the sun and in the cold and in the heat.
I run, therefore, I am a runner.