Why YOU Can Call Yourself a Runner 

It takes a lot for people to qualify themselves as runners. Why, I don’t really know…It’s like the term runner only applies to the elusive human wonders who can run 2-hour marathons. At 5 am. Every day. With ease. And six pack abs.

I, however, have finally allowed myself to be considered a runner. What qualifies me? I run. Simple as that. Not always consistently. Not always long distances. Definitely not always with ease or grace [have you seen Phoebe from Friends run? ]. But I make time for running and use it to set goals and help myself progress in my mental and physical health. So yes, I am a runner. 

I first committed to my running journey in April of 2013, after I had a horribly embarrassing first game on my new social kickball league. Sparknotes version: on my way to first base, I spun to avoid being tagged out and ended up skidding through the dirt, facing the opposite direction I had intended. Lucky ol’ me then got to spend post-kickball social hour at the bar with scrapes up my back and pants chock-full of mulch. Let’s just say this was the final “Jackie, you’re never going to be cut out for team sports” straw. And that night, I signed up for my first half marathon.

While yes, running is a solo event and it doesn’t require hand-eye coordination or team communication, it certainly comes with its own struggles. However, I’ve managed to tackle them and go from a girl who only runs a mile for the state test in gym class (and at a glacial pace, at that), to a girl who runs for *gasp* fun and adventure and well-being. I’ve worked up from 1 mile to 26.2 (actually 27.2 according to my running app, but who’s counting), squashing self-doubt and impressing myself every step of the way. And now, yes, I proudly call myself a runner. And if I can be a runner, so can you.

I’d love to hear your stories! What made you decide to become a runner? Post your stories & motivation in the comments below.  🙂

6 thoughts on “Why YOU Can Call Yourself a Runner 

  1. Lizzie says:

    Jackie inspired me to run my first half marathon! I was more of a 5k girl but she gave me the strength, motivation, and cheerleading I needed to get through it! It was an amazing experience that j never imagined I could do and she still continues to amaze me with her deviation and passion for running and yoga! You go Jackie koco!!!

  2. Olivia Berrier says:

    I started in grade school, because I was NOT athletic, and track and field was the only sport I could find where I didn’t feel like I was letting down the rest of the team. It was kind of fun starting from absolutely nothing (seriously, I was huffing and puffing after 100 meters) and eventually working up to high school and completing my first 5K.

    • Always Running Latte says:

      Thanks for sharing your story, Olivia! Seems like we had similar beginnings (only yours was much earlier). 🙂 I love that about running too- if you put in the time and effort, that’s all it takes to see yourself progress! Such a rewarding feeling to accomplish a distance that seemed like a far cry from reality before.

  3. Robin says:

    I have never been a good runner and the fact that all of my friends (Jackie included!) started running half marathons motivated me to train for my first half. Running my first half marathon was probably one of the accomplishments I have been most proud of in my life because I never, ever thought that I’d be able to run for that long at once, since I used to not even be able to run a full mile! I really liked this blog post because even though I have run 2 halfs now, I am still skeptical to call myself a “runner” because I still don’t view myself as very “good” (i.e., fast) at running and I’m also not super consistent with my training. But after reading this, I guess I can, and will, call myself a runner!

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