How I Accidentally Became a Runner

When does someone become a runner?

Is it when they write “I’m a runner” in their journal?

Is it the first time in 6 months they decide to go on a 10 minute run?

Is it after running 10 days in a row?

Is it the first time they run 5 miles without stopping?

I think we both know the answer.

It’s more subtle than that.

When you know, you know.

Now, it’s easy to say, If you identify as a runner, you’re a runner.

Well, no. That’s a mistake.

Without action, you’re just talking, dreaming, or procrastinating. You’re not a runner unless you run.

But let’s say I run for 10 minutes once a week. Would you say I’m a runner?

I wouldn’t.

I think there is an intangible that you only understand once you do the thing.

So about 8 weeks ago, I started a fitness program.

I was told to go on a 10 minute run every morning.

A few weeks in, it changed to 2 miles 4 days a week.

Then he added 3 60-minute cardio sessions per week on top of that (I mostly chose running).

I’ve never been a runner.

I’ve always thought it was hard on the body (especially being 6’5).

I couldn’t even run a mile without either my lungs or my muscles calling it quits.

I can do sprints and lift weights, but long-distance…not for me.

Fast forward through 8 weeks of consistent running and I can confidently say, I’m a runner.

But it wasn’t planned.

Yesterday, I ran 4 miles without stopping in under 43 minutes and experienced what some call, ‘the runner’s high.”

Here are a few things I learned by doing, that I couldn’t have read in a book.

  • What a runner’s high feels like
  • The wrong shoes can f*ck up your toes.
  • If I don’t stretch consistently, energy can’t move through my body and I tire out super quickly.
  • My calves get SO tight, holy moly
  • My muscles seem to give out far before my lungs
  • Music makes a big difference
  • Your mind will try to stop you way before your body
  • I have a newfound respect for marathon runners
  • Sleep, hydration, soreness, and mindset play a bigger role than I could ever imagine
  • The Track my run app is super cool and makes tracking easy
  • When I find the rhythm, I feel like I could run forever
  • Running is incredibly meditative and peaceful
  • I love running
  • I’m a runner

Whoops, didn’t see that coming!

Oh well, guess I got to get some better shoes and sign up for a race.

This is a great reminder for me that doing is the most important thing.

There are things that you can only learn by doing. Really important things. Things that are only for you to know.

So think about a few things that you identify as.

  • Writer
  • Artist
  • Musician
  • Designer
  • Marketer
  • Copywriter
  • Creative
  • Business owner
  • Leader
  • Podcaster
  • Etc…

And have an honest conversation with yourself…are you actually doing the thing?

Are you in it or are you next to it?

Are you practicing or going through the motions?

Are you getting better?

Are you learning?

Are you building a body of work you can point to?

If not, immerse yourself back into it.

That’s where confidence comes from.

To put it into business context:

Body of work > Experience > Confidence > Sales > Happy clients > Referrals

Are you a runner? Or do you run every now and then?