As I’ve stated in both my bio and my opening post, I haven’t really considered myself a runner yet. It’s hard to call yourself a runner when most of your runs include walking. Some people will say that if you run, at any distance or any speed, you are a runner. Some people will say that you’re not a runner till you can run faster than 8 minute miles. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I’m constantly questioning this:
Icing my first injury. Does this mean I'm a real runner?
— Jessica Winn (@JessicaMWinn) April 26, 2013
It's only been four days since I last ran and my hip is still killing me, but I'm already going crazy. Does this make me an official runner?
— Jessica Winn (@JessicaMWinn) July 9, 2013
All my tan lines are from my running clothes and not swimsuits. Is this a sign of becoming a runner?
— Jessica Winn (@JessicaMWinn) August 17, 2013
I’ve been consistently running since mid-January, so about seven months total. Do I need to make it a whole year to be considered a runner? When I run a race without walking, does that make me a runner? When I finish a half marathon, then am I a runner? Do only runners relate to everything on this Buzzfeed post?
At yoga a couple weeks ago, I was talking to another girl and she was asking what had brought me there. I said, “Well, I’m a runner, and I got injured.” It immediately struck me that I had referred to myself as a runner. When she responded, “I’m a runner too!” I felt like a fraud. She probably really was a runner, and I feel like I’m just faking it. I get really shy talking about my running to people who have been running longer than me; however, I realize that people who don’t run probably consider me a runner.
I relate this to when I first got into photography. When I first started taking on free sessions with friends and family, I was loathe to call myself a photographer, especially not a professional photographer. I would go to photography meetings with “real” photographers and feel out of place. But now I say it without any hesitation: “What do you do?” “I’m a wedding photographer.” (Which is a lot less complicated to explain than my day job, though I say that too depending on context and who I’m talking to.) I don’t know when it wasn’t weird anymore. Will I wake up one day and feel like a runner?
When did you start calling yourself a runner?