“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years.” - John Bingham.
My favorite quote about running is one from John Bingham. If you lace up your shoes and go for a run, then congratulations, you’re a runner. Many people have reservations about labeling themselves as a runner because they feel that they are not fast enough, or don’t run far enough, or aren’t skinny enough, but the truth is if you identify as a runner, no one can tell you that you’re not. (And if they do, you don’t need that kind of negatively in your life.)
If you don’t run races, if you run slow, if you only run on the treadmill, if you’ve never run more than three miles, you still qualify as a bonafide runner.
There are at least ten rites of passage that runners will endure during their journey. Chances are, if you’re a runner, you’ve experienced some of these, and if not yet, then they’re likely in your running future…something to look forward to (hah).
So in honor of all runners and wannabe runners everywhere:
Top 10 Rites of Passage for Runners
10. You bought black toenail polish for your nine non-bruised toenails to match the black and bruised one, or to paint your naked nail bed once it falls off.
9. You embrace the Porta-Potties; they fall somewhere between a necessary evil and a gift from God, depending on the urgency of the situation.
8. Speaking of toilet urgencies, you crapped your pants on a long run, and you didn’t have any reservations about telling your running friends about it.
7. A stranger yelled out of their car window at you, “Run, Forrest, Run!”
6. You’ve tripped and fell on concrete and lived to tell the tale.
5. You experienced the excruciating pain of shower water hitting your chafed underarms or thighs.
4. You’ve gotten up at 4 am (or earlier) to run a race.
3. You’ve experienced an ice bath in full clothing.
2. You know that cheap moisture-wicking material can smell terrible once you start to sweat and you don’t care.
1. A bloody sock after a long run doesn’t deter you from doing it again the next week.
Did I miss any runner’s rites of passage? What have you endured for the sport?
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Questions? I’d love to help.