I was at my aunt’s this weekend and my cousin shows up with a girl (I liked her, in case they’re reading –oh, hello!!). They’re not big on introductions, so I go up to her and said “Hi, I am Elizabeth”, and she says (very excited) “Ah!!! you’re the runner!!”. I was floored. Yes, I am a runner… And I guess I am the runner in the family… but it just sounded so… grand… Maybe I just read too much into it (obviously!) but I never thought I could be “the runner” above all the other things that people would know me for (and there’s definitely a lot things people call me!).
I then started wondering how people see me and how they feel about my running. I remember I would tell my grandma I was training for a marathon years ago and she couldn’t understand why I would do all that “work” and not get paid for it… She would literally ask me “do you get paid for that???”, every time. It was a completely crazy idea that I would do it because I wanted to. Insanity!! I also remember her expression, looking at me like I was missing some parts of my brain (which is probably true anyway!). Luckily, most of the people who know me thinks it is fantastic and inspirational and yada yada, but there is also the few random ones that are still in the “you’re crazy, sit down and grab a beer“, or “it can’t be good for you” position… Sometimes I have patience for them, sometimes… I just bolt!
So I just called my dad to ask how he feels about it because I know he used to worry a lot that I might be doing too much; and I heard that during the Boston and NYC marathons they were all freaking out when the tracking alerts weren’t working*1. He was just great, he said he thinks it’s amazing that I found something that makes me this happy, and that he likes it because he has seen the “mental” and physical change I went through since I started running. And by physical he means how I am in overall better shape and mostly, how my heart seems to be doing much much better because of the running.
So, if all of you are ok with this, from now on, we can just go ahead and introduce ourselves this way to make things easier for everybody:
Hi, I am Elizabeth*2, I am runner*3, nice to meet you!
*1-Those alerts just didn’t work. People on the course or tracking me by email would get a few alerts like half an hour late, or the next day, or not at all… Do NOT count on them. Tell your family/friends sometimes they don’t work and to not get scared. (they thought I was in the hospital or who knows what!)
*2-Please use your own name!
*3-You can add PRs, goals, recent races, show your toes, go into a race report, etc., though be aware that any of that might cause some horror/boredom if the other person is a non-runner, which will be the 98% of the time. Yeah, that is totally scientific!!