There are a lot of things I describe myself as: writer, wife, daughter, advisor, beer drinker, food eater, theatre goer, music listener, onion chopper, awesome crouton maker. But I have never called myself a runner — until today.
I’ve been running for more than 8 years. In a given month I run less than I drink beer and more than I make croutons. In other words, regularly enough that I could call myself a runner. So why didn’t I? Because I just run for general fitness purposes. I’ve never run a half marathon or marathon. I run a local 10K every year, and while I would always like to tie or slightly outrun my previous time, I don’t lose any sleep over it. It’s just something I do. Not a part of who I am. Except that it is.
I’ve had an intense couple weeks, with a book signing and prep for a blog tour and some big changes at the day job thrown in. All super positive, but that brings a type of stress all its own (really, it has a name– eustress). Then looking ahead, July is chock full of good stuff, too. But it’s the sort of good stuff that has deadlines and requires preparation. The type of things that can spiral into the best sort of overwhelm if you let them. Which is exactly where I was headed when I had the thought that I needed to go for a run.
And so I did. I put in my headphones, turned up the music and put one foot in front of the other on the treadmill. I took the first mile easy. Then on the second one, I upped the speed a notch every tenth of a mile, squared my shoulders back and down, sweated from the crooks of my elbows and left it all there. Every last bit of it, until my body was humming with energy and my head was clear.
Turns out I had it all wrong, being a runner isn’t about how many races you run or how seriously you take it. It’s about how much you need it in your life. And so, as of today – I am a runner.
As I mentioned in my post, I’m going on tour! Starting Monday, July 6, I’ll be making the virtual rounds with my novel Neverending Beginnings! Click here for the schedule and join in the fun (including a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!).