Can I be a runner?

I have people tell me all the time how much they’d love to “be a runner”.

That’s kind of funny, if you think about it, because all of our bodies were built for running. Running, jumping, climbing, crawling — these were all activities we did as children. Did we ever think twice about it?

Look at kids out on the playground at school or the park. Do they seem to find it difficult to go from walking to running to climbing? No, they do these things effortlessly.

Somewhere along the way, we have decided that there is some mysterious trait that all runners share. And, if you don’t have that trait, then you’re just not cut out for that activity.

Let me share a secret with you: there’s nothing special about runners!

What does it mean to run?

I think the real disconnect is in how people define “runner”. If you mean someone who is moving their legs faster than a walking pace, then anyone with functioning legs can eventually make it. But, if you’re imagining someone that can run 26.2 miles without stopping, there aren’t as many folks that qualify — myself included!

If you want to be a runner, then stop thinking you have to go from sitting on the couch to doing a marathon. You need to focus on the fact that even running one mile is a huge achievement. Heck, just running for one minute without stopping is a big deal when you’re getting started!

A great example

I have a good friend, Chad, who has been losing weight ever since I’ve known him. He’s built tall and stocky — not the typical “runner’s physique”. Yet, he’s run more miniMarathons than me!

How’d he do it? He decided one day that he was going to start running, so he made a plan and kept working it. As he pushed his way through a 5k, then a 10k, he developed the confidence to train for a half marathon.

His success didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen without a lot of effort. And, it didn’t happen because he thought that running required some special genetic makeup. Chad’s success is the result of putting one foot in front of the other, day after day, year after year.

Do you want to be a runner? Then set a goal, get out there, and start doing it. You’ll never make it happen sitting on the couch.

Happy running!

Tony

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