For years I was never really sure I could call myself a runner. I mean I ran a lot but I never considered myself fast or to be honest graceful. If there was a sidewalk that was uneven or an unseen hole I could find it. I slipped, tripped and stumbled my miles away.
When I began running I had a disc man that I carried in my hand. In my other hand the leash for my faithful companion Chloe.
After joining the Coast Guard I ran sporadically. I mean in boot camp we ran a lot but after that I kind of slacked off a bit.
Stationed in Key West I ran a fair amount when I wasn’t deployed. Key West was so much fun to run around. I loved running through the cemetery and looking at all the beautiful statues.
It was hard to get into a routine though since I was in for two months and then out for two months. Plus I’ll be honest, I drank a lot then and smoked more. So clearly running wasn’t a priority.
I moved to North Carolina in 2008 and started running more. Even though my feet hurt like hell, I still ran. I figured they hurt whether or not I ran so why not just run. I think this is when I actually began thinking of myself as a runner. I had a pain that might have stopped most people in their tracks and I still ran. I shuffled around pretty much all the time since my feet hurt so bad.
I ran my first few races in North Carolina. I bought a Garmin watch….it was huge but it was easier than just winging it. I bought an MP3 player, at that time I refused to embrace apple products. Needless to say I went through a lot of MP3 players. I’ve since then gotten on board the Apple bandwagon. I ran in the heat then but refused to venture out in the cold. I was a fair weather runner.
When I moved here to New Jersey I began running immediately. Honestly, the day the movers came with my stuff I got in a quick run before the showed up at my door. I have always turned to running in a new place. It’s a great way to learn your way around your neighborhood. After living here in New Jersey in two different towns I feel like I know all the roads within a 5 mile radius of home.
I have fully embraced running in all seasons. I currently have 5 pairs of running sneakers. I have 1 Camelbak and 2 fuel belts. I have too many shirts to count in a variety of colors and sleeve lengths. I have way too many hats and never enough socks. I have blisters on one or both feet pretty much all the time. I’ve had a running tan and wind burn. I’ve had chafing in places that really hurt. I have scars from a variety accessories. I’ve tripped and fallen on wet leaves and slipped on icy patches.
I’ve also seen amazing things! I’ve ran through the woods with deer running along side the trail. I’ve seen the sunrise and set. I’ve seen alligators and ran smack dab into spider webs. I’ve experienced great runs and horrible dragging ass the whole way runs.
I’ve inspired several people to run. I’ve also met people who can’t fathom running any distance.
When people ask me about myself the first thing I will tell them is I am a runner. When people ask about my weekend or time off I’ll respond by telling them all about how the weather was perfect for a run so I just had to run.
So yes I’m a runner. I may not be ten fastest but I’m not the slowest. I will run until I can’t and even then I’ll still try to run.
Until next time!!