Monday, February 17, 2014

You're That Runner ...

Day 40.

40 days without a run.

14 days of nothing but the pool and upper body/core work.

I'm starting to get the hang of the crutches. I take the stairs up to the second floor at the gym. I could take the elevator but the effort of crutching up the stairs seems like some of the best cardio I get these days.

My weight is up. In the past 40 days, despite my best efforts, I've put on 6 lbs.

I feel Every. Single. One.

My body feels heavy and woefully out of shape.

This weekend I signed up for a race that I'm unsure I have a chance of finishing. It's 6 months away.

The trip up the stairs leaves me a little bit breathless.

I make it to the top of the stairs (finally) and look around trying to decide where I want to go first.

"Wait, how do I know you? You're ... you're that runner." It takes me a minute to realize that a woman is talking to me. I'm trying to place her but she doesn't look remotely familiar. Am I wearing a race shirt? No. There's nothing about my outfit that screams runner. In what I have (rather cruelly) termed my "injury chub" I can't understand why she would think I was a runner.

She continues, "you run all the time! It took me a minute to figure it out but I see you run by my house regularly. You are quite the runner. You didn't do that running did you?"

"Probably. It's a stress fracture," I reply.

"Well, I hope you heal up quick. It's always nice to see you run by. I hope to see you out there again soon." She flashes a big smile. And I know she means it. For just a minute I can see myself through her eyes. I let go of the idea of the ginormous thighs, the flabby arms, the soft middle. I am a runner. I am a runner solely because I run. Not because of what my body looks like.

We judge ourselves far too harshly. Here I am feeling like anything but a runner simply because I'm going through a brief blip with injury. A blip! In the scheme of things, even if I'm out for a year, I'm still one of the lucky people that will heal.

I haven't ceased to be a runner because I can't run right now.

I don't have to qualify myself as "not a real runner" because I don't run fast.

I don't have to bully myself over a few pounds.

I am a runner. Today, tomorrow, and hopefully far into the future.

Because I run.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post Sarah. I'm happy for you that you had that encounter. You are an awesome runner and yes it is just an injury (that you are managing beautifully to all those looking at you from the outside) and you WILL be back soon :)

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