Sometimes it’s hard for me to call myself a “runner.”
Like even just now. Are those quotations even necessary?
Running when you’re carrying extra pounds is tough. Really tough. But what’s even harder is the fear of judgement from society- specifically other runners.
I’ve been fortunate enough to never have been made fun of (to my face) for being a plus sized athlete. I’ve heard awful stories of curvy girls being called ugly names like “fat-ass” or “fatty” by passerbys as they run along a park or jogging path. I’m not sure how I’d handle that, but again, I’m lucky it hasn’t happened to me.
But that doesn’t mean the fear of that possibility doesn’t linger in my mind every now and then.
Bottom line? I love to run. And even though I’m not the fastest runner in town, I’m a runner because I enjoy it. I enjoy training for longer distances, setting goals, registering for races and crossing finish lines.
I love racking up miles, buying new running shoes, and breathing in the fresh air on a park path.
I love high fives from other runners, reading running blogs, finding inspiration from other runners like me, and inspiring others to begin their own running journeys.
I love knowing that my body is able to carry me at least 13.1 miles.
I love running in memory of my mom with #TeamJudy, and fundraising for great causes through charity races.
I love taking walking breaks and experiencing that feeling my body gives me when it knows it’s time to run again.
I love sweaty shirts, compression capris, running playlists, each every one of the 359,684 water bottles I own, and sore legs.
But what I love the most about running is the fact that just 1 successful run can remove the fear of judgement from my mind in a snap. Just 1 run can make me feel empowered, energized, and excited about life. Just 1 run can make me feel like a real, true runner- and no one can take that away from me.
If you dream about the days where you can call yourself a runner too, yet you haven’t found the courage to start, begin anyway. The courage will meet you at the finish line with open arms.
Happy National Running Day!