I’m not a runner, but…
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear people say, “I’m not a feminist, but…” and then finish the sentence with something incredibly and fundamentally feminist. “I’m not a feminist, but I think women should be able to vote.” “I’m not a feminist, but I think women should have access to contraception.” “I’m not a feminist, but I think rape is bad.”
But recently, I realized I’m guilty of something similar.
I’m not a runner, but I go for runs a couple times a week, I’ve heard myself say.
I’m not a runner, but I have running shoes. And a Road ID. And several sports bras. And a favorite pair of cotton shorts. And a route I regularly run.
I’m not a runner, because I’ve never run a race. Right?
Just as all you people who think you’re not feminists but believe women should be paid as much as men, but are actually actual feminists, so too am I runner. This realization was mind-blowing.
I didn’t think I was a runner because I couldn’t get to the end of my block without needing to stop. I thought I’d be a runner when it got easier or when my total distance was more than 1.3 miles. But the truth is, I’m a runner now. Even though I can only run that 1.3 mile route if I take two long walk breaks, even though I feel like death as soon as I’m done, even though I don’t have the proper socks or shorts or headband or iPod or any playlist at all, I’m still a runner. I’m a runner because I’m doing the best I can.
And I’m running. It’s not easy, but I’m running.