“You don’t look like a runner”. No one has actually said that to my face but I have read it in their expressions many times. To be fair, it’s something that goes through my own mind quite a bit. I have always been more sturdy than skinny.
You can’t argue with Sir Mix A Lot…
I threw shot put and discus in high school – did fairly well with the shot put, not so much with the discus due to my late releases – and was always happiest when it was a weightlifting day. The few times that the running coach tried to make the throwers run, you can bet I helped lead the mutiny until our coach could rescue us.
Running was uncomfortable. I felt like an elephant, lumbering along. I didn’t see my big thighs as powerhouses but rather more weight to slow me further. I would get horrible side stitches and my knees hurt and I was (gasp!) sweaty. I hated that last part the most! Those painful, ungainly runs have been my mental picture of me running for a very long time.
I know that not all runners are super skinny, have long legs, and perfect abs. I also know that a growing number look like me. (See the great photo galleries that Another Mother Runner has compiled) That said, I still didn’t feel it. I almost felt like a fraud when I told people that I am a runner.
Then I received my pictures from Sunday’s trail half marathon.
Not only do I see a runner, but I also see someone who is healthy and having fun! No, I will never fit the traditional “runner” mold but that does not diminish my worth as a runner. It’s time I finally stepped up and owned it!