(Today’s blog post is from my amazing wife Rachel. Enjoy!)
This may surprise some people, but I still have trouble calling myself a “runner.”
“What?!” you might exclaim, confused. “You recently ran a marathon, have run several half marathons, and consistently run multiple times a week.”
And still…the designation makes me uncomfortable.
There are myriad reasons why this term is difficult for me. It could be due to the fact that I’m not the fastest runner, or I rarely compete (with others or myself [i.e., aim for a PR]), or I don’t run as many miles as “real” runners (ahem, Allen). But I think my biggest struggle is that I truly don’t love running.
Yes, it’s a fantastic way to stay in shape, and it’s something Allen and I can do together, and it’s a great way to see backstage at Disney (priorities, people). But, almost every time I get ready for a run, I have to steel myself for what’s coming.
Several weeks ago I wrote about my experience at the Disney World Marathon. If you’ve read that entry, you know exactly what my experience was like…and if you haven’t, read it right now! I’ll wait…
…By now you should know that the marathon did not go well. One of the most excruciating aspects of that experience was suffering a panic attack. Why my brain decided to freak out and my lungs decided they didn’t work, I still can’t pinpoint.
After the marathon, one of the things I was told repeatedly (mostly from my mom) is that I was an “athlete.” “Just like Serena Williams!” Mom said. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t even call myself a runner, much less an athlete…I chalked that up to motherly love (thanks, Mom!).
Then again…was I an athlete? One portion of dictionary.com’s definition of the word is, “a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.” That was me, right?
To this day I can’t tell you exactly what happened, or how I was actually able to finish (something tells me it rhymes with Schmallen). But gosh darn it, I did it! And if completing a marathon doesn’t qualify me as a runner, I don’t know what will.
What I do know is, I’m going to keep running. Because if I don’t, I’ll never call myself a runner. At least this way, at least I have the opportunity to do so.