Of course you call a spade a spade when it is a spade.
Why is it then, that I just gave myself permission to officially call myself a runner? Is it because I have three timed races under my belt? Is it because I have reached a certain distance or a certain time in my runs?
Before the half-marathon that I ran earlier this month, Mr. Mom of Many Hats and I attended an expo put on by the sponsors of the race. While we were there, we picked up our race packets with our bibs, chips, hydration tips, rout maps - all the race "stuff" we would need for the race the following day. We also had the chance to peruse vendors of sports gear, health and nutrition supplies, sunglasses, filtered water, watches - you name it, if it was health or fitness related, it was there. (Not sure where the beer vendors fit it, but to each his own.)
As we were leaving the event, I turned to Mr. Mom of Many Hats and said "I guess after tomorrow, I can officially call myself a runner!"
He looked at me with a bit of puzzlement.
You see, for the last 18 months, we have spent most Saturday mornings running the same trails. For many of those months, he far outran me in distance and speed. But, while training for this event, we have run the trails and the miles together, side by side.
But still, I didn't FEEL like a runner. I didn't believe I was fast enough, elite enough, or conditioned enough to give myself that status. I didn't measure up. How could I claim that title?
He, on the other hand, has considered me a runner from the day I ran my first 30 minute session on the treadmill. He has seen me work, train, ache, blister, wear out shoes and fight the elements just like other "runners" do. He saw in me the qualities and characteristics of a runner, even though I didn't recognize them.
I learned a valuable lesson from him. Although I shouldn't rely on others to tell me who I am, it is important for me to try and look at myself through other's eyes. I can gain perspective, focus, and an appreciation for who I am and what I have accomplished.
I now know that you call a runner a runner when she is a runner!