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I’m not a runner, but…

July 19, 2012

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 9:31 am

    Love it.
    I tend to reply this way about writing. It’s difficult to call myself a writer when I don’t do it professionally, or to call myself a poet when I haven’t had anything published.

    • July 23, 2012 9:48 am

      I remember the first time I answered “Yes” when asked if I was a writer. I surprised even myself with that answer.

  2. July 19, 2012 9:36 am

    This is kind of a general life thing. You are whatever it is that you’re trying to be, to an extent.

    Great post, from one newly-realized runner to another. Also: I used to have a playlist, but lately I’ve taken to running without music, late at night and it’s kind of my favorite thing ever. I actually enjoy running this way, which is not a thing that I ever thought would happen. You just have to find what works for you (again, a general life thing…)

  3. July 19, 2012 10:37 am

    Hooray for running! It took me a long time to call myself a runner, and sometimes I still feel like a fraud because I’m not an olympian or something. But seriously, we’re all runners if we drag ourselves out there and do it.

  4. Big L (aka Laura) permalink
    July 20, 2012 7:32 am

    Yes! Absoutely you’re a runner! You’re putting on your sneakers, moving your feet, getting your blood pumping, and enjoying the fresh air. Even as someone who runs races from time to time, I think those are the reasons that matter most anyway! 🙂

  5. July 31, 2012 12:21 am

    That’s running! I ran for a week a few months ago, so I don’t think I can claim the same, and 30 day shredder just doesn’t have the same charm.

  6. November 24, 2012 3:25 pm

    I do this, too! I run (have done a few half-marathons), but I don’t consider myself “a runner” because I don’t love running the way so many serious runners do. It’s not something I’m passionate about, it’s just…something I do. That’s the difference, for me.

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