First of all, I’m a runner. That’s why I run. I can’t seem to stop running. It’s kind of a problem.
Then there’s the same old trend of well, I run because it makes me feel good, I run because I can, I run because of…yadda yadda yadda.
I also run because I really really really like food. And if I can eat that ice cream guilt-free because I did a five-miler that morning, then awesome.
But ultimately, I run for the bragging rights.
That sounds really bad, I know, but I do.
Running is one of the few things in my life that a few misspoken words can’t take from me. There is no denying the awesome that is the 91.7 miles that the seven half marathons that I’ve done, not to mention the miles of training that it took to get to them. No one can say a blithe comment that will erase the memories of my legs burning, my lungs screaming, and the self-satisfaction at the end of a long, hard run.
There is no self-doubt when I run.
There is no judgment.
The road sure as hell doesn’t judge you.
With running, the only people who could possibly say belittling words with any justifiable condescension are running more than I am and know just how much it hurts and how hard you worked to earn those miles and would never ever say those words to another long-distance runner. Those others who might try to say belittling words about my running are easily countered with, “Really? How far did you run today?” and abruptly, they no longer have an argument or an insult.
Running is the only thing in my life that I don’t irrationally compare myself to others with, that I don’t worry about, stress over, or put myself down about.
Because anyone who can run is awesome.
(For the record, there are awesome people out there who can’t run to, I’m not saying that.)
If you ran that god-awful, painful, heart-wrenchingly wonderful 10k or half marathon or full marathon…or yes, even that 5k…you get bragging rights.
And, honey? You look damn good with them too.
Because nothing says awesome like, “Look how far I ran today.”