I Shouldn't Be A Runner...BUT I AM
I sure as shit shouldn’t be a runner.
For starters, I weigh 260 pounds. That doesn’t make for easy movement.
Then there's the asthma. The uncontrolled, scary, my-inhaler-is-always-within-three-feet-of-my-person type of asthma which makes me think every run very well could be my last.
There’s also the flat feet and the giant arms and the big boobs with a mind of their own and the thigh rub. OH, THE THIGH RUB.
There’s also the skepticism. The look I get any time I talk about running that says, “YOU? How could someone SO MASSIVE possible move in a way that even closely resembles running!?”
There’s also the running industrial complex. Running is expensive and not always inclusive and certainly not accepting of people with less athletic body types. Look up the hashtag “runner” on Instagram. You aren’t likely to see people who look like me. You sure won’t find them advertised for a lot of running brands, either. Yes, Susan, I am sure that your Lululemons are magical and the best piece of running gear you have, but I can’t spend $400 on a pair of running pants that would fit one of my legs.
All this internalized b.s. sits in my head every moment.
It screams at me when I wake up early on Saturday morning.
It sits with me while I eat my eggs and toast and sip my coffee.
These thoughts are the background music as I fill my camelback and I lace up my shoes.
They get louder when I take a puff of my inhaler and put on my sunscreen and hat.
They quiet down when I start my watch.
They shut up when I start running.
Sometimes I can hear these thoughts over my music. When I see my pace dip or someone passes me or when I start to think of my running team waiting for ages for me to finish.
But for the most part, they're silent. Because I am doing what I was made to do.
I am a runner.
I shouldn’t be, but I fucking am. I am strong. I am powerful. I kick ass.
I run races and crush hills and I train on the track like a goddamn Olympian.
To anyone out there who struggles with these same thoughts about running, I tell you this: