Subtitled: Sometimes Farts Are Funny
I feel so very blessed every day I get to wake up, put on my shoes and go for a run. Short run, long run, it doesn’t matter. I truly, honestly love to run. Running has changed my life, and I’m proud to say I’m a better person for it. But, there are still a few things I wish I’d known before I started running — and I’d like to share them with you:
- First and, in my opinion, most importantly: If you run, you are a runner. Stop comparing your pace to everyone else. Stop thinking that if you’re not moving faster than X minutes/mile, you’re not running. If it looks like running and feels like running, it’s running. Embrace it and be proud of yourself.
- That being said, every run will not be a winner. If you expect to set a PR every time you go running, you’re going to be disappointed. And you’re probably running for the wrong reasons. Some runs, to put it bluntly, just plain suck. Your legs feel like lead; your heart’s not in it; you walk more than you run. But don’t be discouraged: “Bad” runs help you become a good runner. You have to learn how to work through the bad to get better. And, by the way, learn to show yourself some compassion — you aren’t perfect and you can’t win every time.
- In order to succeed, you MUST kill the “can’t” monster that’s living in your mind. If you believe you can’t do something, you might as well not even try. Because it won’t work. You must learn to appreciate the amazing things your body can do — and know that you have it in you to do the things you want to do. Have some faith in yourself and stop telling yourself you can’t do something. Put on your work clothes and get your nails dirty. If you truly want it, you can do it. But, if you don’t really want it, that’s a different story — just stop pretending you want it by covering it with a “can’t.”
- You will learn more about your anatomy and your bodily functions than you ever learned in 8th grade science class. And, yeah, you’ll probably talk more about your bathroom habits than you did when you were in 3rd grade. Oh, and, if you don’t learn to appreciate the fact that sometimes farts are funny, you’re going to be embarrassed — a lot.
- Not everyone will get it. When you talk about running, a lot of people’s eyes will glaze over and they’ll start randomly nodding, tossing in some “mmm hmmms” every now and again — both of you knowing full well that they have no idea what you’re talking about because they tuned out at the words “tempo run.” And it’s not fair for you to think that just because running is your passion it will be their passion, too.
- Race pictures don’t make you look like you’re on the cover of Runner’s World. They usually end up making you look more like a charging bull.
- You will eagerly wait for the clock’s hands to tick to 8 p.m. because you can go to bed, exhausted from that morning’s 4 a.m. alarm and the one that’s going to wake you at 4 the next morning for your long run. Sure, you’re only 30 and you sleep like a senior citizen — whatsthebigdeal?
- There will be days you really, really don’t want to run — those are the days you probably need it most. There are days you really, really shouldn’t run — those are the days you probably need to rest. You’ll learn the difference. But it may take some time.
- Running’s maybe not for you. No matter how much you try to run, you don’t like it. No matter how many miles you log, you hate them all. No matter how many times you hear someone talk about a “runner’s high,” you just don’t get it. It’s OK. Running’s not for everyone. And if it’s not working for you — you’re not a quitter. You’re being true to yourself. Find something that works for you.
- Second breakfast is the most wonderful meal of all. Enough said.
- Running will change your life — if you let it. Running gives you the power to amaze yourself every single day. It gives you the chance to get better every single day. Embrace the struggles; challenge yourself; and — please — enjoy the journey.