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Monday, September 5, 2011

More than a runner.

This summer has been a busy one, aren't they all? It seems as if the older I get the more quickly summer passes by which, leads me to wonder if that will always be the case. Will summer feel just days long when I am 70?

But this post is not about aging, it is about defining: Who are you aside from being a runner?

This summer I posed this question to two groups of athletes. Once at a high school co-ed cross-country camp and once more at my husband's women's team training camp. I have talked about balance in previous posts but I feel strongly about this question. Who are YOU aside from being a runner? What, aside from being an athlete, defines you? The answers and reactions surprised, saddened, and delighted me. There were clear answers, insightful comments and exploration, and even tears from some.

Too many times have I seen devastation over an injury or illness that side lines a runner.  I have also experienced this and been forced to reconcile with with the self-doubt and fear that comes from having my DEFINITION stripped out from underneath me. Then I realized, I am so much more than a runner.

Key set backs in my running:
Anorexia - lost 10 YEARS
Swine flu - lost 2-3 weeks
Fibular stress fracture - lost 10 weeks
Calf strain - lost 3-5 weeks
Hernia surgery #1 - lost 4 weeks
Hernia surgery #2 - lost 10 days

Who am I aside from being a runner?
Dog lover
Sales rep
Companion & friend
Sister & daughter

This thought forces us, as runners, to walk a fine line. The line of complete dedication and balance. I am not suggesting that we don't put all we have and can into our athletic pursuits-lord knows I would be a hypocrite-I am merely suggesting keeping our minds in a balanced place. Running isn't EVERYTHING but it's SOMETHING right now. And that's okay-admirable even. But, I, for one, am more than a runner.

I  hope you are too.

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