Are you a Real Runner??

I started running 5 years ago and I remember it took me some time before I felt comfortable calling myself a “runner”. Others would refer to me as a runner, or even as a *gasp!* ATHLETE and I would sheepishly shrug and look at the ground and answer their questions or tell them about my training or latest race. I didn’t want “real” runners to think I was taking liberties with their hard earned classification so would tell people, “I’m not a runner, I just like to run”. I even searched through well known running websites online trying to find a definition for the term so I would know when I officially qualified! Crazy, right?!?

“I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.”
-Bart Yasso

Now that I am comfortable with the term (after completing all of the milestones I had defined in my head) I see others who, like I once was, are so reluctant to declare themselves as runners. You shrug off the term and say things like, “I’m not a real runner – not like you.” You may even feel like a pretender when you encounter another runner on the street – I know I did!

So for all of you who doubt your runner status here’s what I have to say to you:

Do you pick up your pace to that which is quicker than a walk and have less than 2 feet on the ground while doing so? HELLO RUNNER!! Welcome to the club!

Running is not about how fast or slow you go, about running X number of races, or even any races! It’s not about hitting a certain threshold of miles per week or about having all the latest gadgets and gear (although that is fun 🙂 ).

Here’s a bit of insight for you: when I’m out driving in my car and I pass someone running along the street, I think, “Runner!” (In fact I usually tag you out loud. Just ask my husband – he can confirm.) I AM NOT thinking, “that person doesn’t LOOK like a runner”, or “that person is too slow to be a runner”, or even “that person doesn’t know how to run”. I’m thinking about how lucky you are to be out there running, and I’m wishing I was out there too! (OK, and sometimes I’m checking out your shoes…)

So next time you’re feeling some doubt about whether or not you’re a real runner, put on those running shoes and head out the door and prove it to yourself once again that you ARE, in fact, A RUNNER!

Now get out there and run!

Happy Running!

20140630-165355-60835034.jpg

If you hate The Gym consider Activities!

I learned an important lesson the other day. I was chatting with a client about gym workouts and how it can be such a struggle to find the motivation to get to the gym, and I asked, “Is there another activity that you would enjoy more?” We talked about the idea of working out and going to the gym vs. going for a walk or bike ride, and how going to the gym can have negative feelings associated while we may not recognize other activities as acceptable ways to exercise our bodies.

Consider the common phrases “I need to work out” and “I need to go to the gym”. We don’t often express excitement about these activities and we use words that indicate this is a chore, but when we talk about going for a bike ride or going to play volleyball with friends we usually feel anticipation and joy.

When we say “workout” or “the gym” certain thoughts and feelings may spring to mind:
CHORE, bummer, no fun, so hard, too much time, dread, frustration

But when we talk about activities like going for a walk or bike ride, playing a game of volleyball, or playing badminton in the yard other more positive images may spring to mind:
JOY, fun, time with friends / family, play, freedom, happiness

Some people do love going to the gym, but if you find that negative thoughts are deterring you from getting the exercise your body needs, consider whether or not the gym is the right solution for you.

As a runner I have many people ask me if I think everyone should run. While I very much enjoy running and I love watching and helping others discover a passion for running, I don’t believe it is the right activity for everyone. I believe you should do whatever activity YOU enjoy whether it be running, walking, hiking, yoga, biking, spinning, CrossFit, basketball, volleyball, Zumba, tennis, or WHATEVER, because it is the joy in YOUR activity that will keep you engaged and active.

Find YOUR passion and get active!

20140420-110017.jpg