Inspired by John Bingham’s RW column No Need for Speed, Hitme came up with this new tagging game which he entitled, “I am a Runner”.
Hitme wrote: To hear it from Bingham quote the late Dr. George Sheehan, beloved Runner’s World columnist, who once wrote that the difference between a runner and a jogger was a signature on a race application. As succinct as Dr. Sheehan’s definition was, it made the point. If you are motivated enough to train for and participate in an organized running event, then you are a runner. Anyone willing to risk public failure in order to be part of the running community – no matter what his or her pace per mile might be – was a runner. Period. (NNFS, 2007)
To Bingham, though, such definitions are meaningless, since those who call themselves runners already know why they call themselves runners.
So, as promised to Hitme, these are the reasons why “I am a runner”:
I AM A RUNNER because I give importance to my training schedule. There is so much more in my life aside from running—my husband, children, parents and siblings, friends, graphic design, baby sign language, art, household, blogging, etc.—each of which requires special attention from time to time, or in some cases, all the time. But, should some aspects demand more from me or if my load becomes overwhelming, running is never set aside; it has its own slot of time in my crazy, busy life.
I AM A RUNNER because I am in it for the long haul. I’ve enrolled in countless gyms during my lifetime—Shape, Clark Hatch, Slimmers World, Fitness First—and never thought, for once, that I could sustain the monotonous act of going in and out of those gyms for over a year. I signed up for badminton and golf excited over the initial sessions, but my interest waned for these sports quicker than I could say the sentence “This is not for me.” Running is different. I fell into a whirlwind romance with running, was completely infatuated with it, still love it for all its flaws and challenges, and I’m fully committed to it in good times and in bad (my hubby comes first, of course). I can see myself running until I am old and gray.
I AM A RUNNER because, whenever we are on the road travelling around Metro Manila, all I ever look at is the ground: “Hey, it is asphalted here, this would be a good running route.”
I AM A RUNNER because I have blindly spent all my hard-earned money on anything and everything that can improve my running. When was the last time I purchased a good pair of shoes or a fancy handbag? Maybe the same day that asteroid killed off all the dinosaurs. I can tell you though that I have happily shelled out cash for my treadmill, running shoes, sports bras, tops and shorts, ipod, nike kit, thorlo socks, no-slip headbands, cases of Gatorade, and so many more.
I AM A RUNNER because when I talk of travels abroad, all I ever think of is running. To a friend: “You went to Sydney, how did it feel to run there?” To my cousin: “You lived in a villa in Southern Italy? Wow, it would’ve been great to run there early in the morning!” To my Coach: “You’re back! How did it feel to run in Michigan?” To my husband: “Next time we go abroad, I’ll play golf with you and you can run a race with me. Wouldn’t that be romantic?”
I AM A RUNNER because my schedule revolves around races. When can we go up to Baguio? Am I free for dinner this Saturday evening? Wait…let me check if there’s a race on Sunday. I free up my entire week (or at least lighten my load) before a race because I know I have to train for this and be in tip-top shape.
I AM A RUNNER because I have my easy runs, fartlek, hill training, and LSD’s. I don’t churn out these technical terms for others to know I am aware of them. Hell, I don’t use them that often. I just run them.
I AM A RUNNER because I have to run. I must. If not, I feel awkward, incomplete, and unhappy. It is no longer about losing the last few pounds, burning excess calories from overindulging the night before, or keeping up with other runners. It is all about me and what I must do to feel alive.