Stop Saying You’re Not A Real Runner!

For those who don’t know my story, I’ll sum it up very quickly.  5 years ago I was a cupcake away from 300 lbs, and a double bacon cheeseburger shy of a heart attack.  I couldn’t walk a mile.  Today I weigh 192, and that is the result of many years of healthy eating and exercise.  Mainly running.  Today I killed my personal 10k time at 9:26/mile.

I’ve always said, “I’m not a real runner.”  Why?  Because when I started, a 16 minute mile was a joke – I’d be lucky to get it done in 20.

I continued training, and got better.  I hit the 12 minute mark, “I’m still not a real runner.  Real runners have ten minute miles at worst.”

I continued training, got better, and easily hit the 10 minute mark time and time again.  “I’m not a real runner.  Look at all the people that came in before me in 5k I just ran!”

I keep training, I get better, I’m regularly in the 9’s, “Nope, still not a real runner.”

I keep training, push myself hard, regularly hit the 8’s, “I’m not a real runner.”

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Here’s the thing I can tell you from my experience.  I feel no more like a real runner hitting my 8 minute times than I did when I was doing my 16 minute times.

So my advice to you is to embrace it and declare that you ARE a real runner!  Do you put on some running clothes, a pair of sneakers and hit the pavement?  Do you sweat, and push yourself hard because you want to be healthy and in better shape?  Do you go out, have a terrible run, have to walk most of the time, finish feeling defeated – BUT you lace up and do it again a couple days later because damn it I’m going to get better!

You do!  So guess what, you ARE a real runner, and whether you’re the slowest one of your group of friends, the fastest, finish middle of the pack in your local 5k, or finish dead last, YOU ARE A RUNNER!

Wear it with pride, and start now!  Because I can tell you from experience, you can lose 100+ lbs, you can go from not being able to walk a mile in a half hour to easily running 3 miles in that time, and you will feel no more like a real runner than you did at the beginning until you embrace what you do for what it is.

So what are you waiting for?  Go lace up and hit the pavement!

 

I’m Dave, a novelist, Mr. Mom, husband, son, office worker, and guy who has struggled with weight for 20 years.  If you like what you read, go ahead and use the links on the right over there to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, and drop me a line!  I love hearing from readers.  Hope you enjoy, and happy reading!

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Daddy, why are your eyes leaking?

When I was in the market for a new messenger bag, I decided on the same one that’s used by Jack Bauer in the Fox series 24 – it was my choice in bag solely for that reason.  It’s the same army combat tested bag that Jack uses… I’m so cool, right?!  

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My supercool bag, showing off with Jack

The cargo however is a far cry from what Jack carries with him.  Mine is filled with pull-ups and wipes, goldfish, hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, juice boxes, a copy of Siblings Without Rivalry to read in my spare moments, and anything else I might need to take on the world as a Mr. Mom.

I’m no tough guy like Jack.

So I was surprised at an interaction with my son this past weekend when our cat died.  While he was part of our home for 12 years, I’m not the biggest fan of cats in general, and while he was pretty cool – as far as cats go – he was old and very sick, and I wasn’t devastated.  But my son was.

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JJ and Quag’s – buddies since my little guy was a baby.

When I sat him down to telll him that Quagmire (our cat) had died, he screamed and bawled his eyes out.  I held him tight, and found a couple of tears running down my own cheeks as well.  I was of course sad about the cat, but what really had touched me was how upset my son was.

When he finally calmed down and pulled away, his own cheeks completely soaked with the tears still flowing from his little blue eyes, he looked at me and said, “Daddy, why are your eyes leaking?”

I was caught off guard when I realized that in 5 years he had never seen me cry.  Like I said, I’m not a “tough guy”, I don’t intentionally hide my emotions from my kids.  But as emotionally open and enlightened as I think I am, I had never let him see that side of me, and didn’t even realize it.  I’d venture to guess that many dads fall into this same category.

So I guess it was a double learning experience for him.  It was his first real experience with death.  While it wasn’t a person it was an adored pet that he loved dearly and it was still a profound loss for him.  But he also learned that daddy can get super sad and shed a tear or two as well.

I’m not suggesting all the dads make it a point to go home and weep in front of their kids, but I don’t think it’s something that needs to consciously be kept a secret.  Given the occasion and the reason, my little man seems no worse for the wear from it.

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