Global Running Day: Thoughts from an Average Runner
I am a perfectionist. I excel at everything I do, whether naturally or by fierce training and self-inflicted boot camps. There is nothing average about me except my running ability. That's why I hate running. That's why I torture myself with running. That's why I run. That's how I learned not to GAF.
Normally when I suck at something I stop. That's why you never see me on skis. I avoided running when I was young because of my asthma, and later when I was older because I hated my legs too much to wear shorts. Yes, you read that correctly.
As I ran around my neighborhood on Global Running Day in a Sparkle Skirt I realized how far I have come in the IDGAF category.
And it's true, I don't give a f*ck about my Hulk legs, or how funny I must look running around the block in a teal sparkle skirt, or how fast or slow I run compared to you or anyone else.
The superficial running community I'm surrounded by on social media has taught me not to give a f*ck about so much more:
- IDGAF that I can't register to run every race
- IDGAF that sometimes I wear makeup when I run and maybe that's kinda lame
- IDGAF that I'm not skinny enough to run without a shirt on
- IDGAF that not every race is I run is a PR race
- IDGAF that I am not an ambassador of every running brand on Earth
- IDGAF that I don't win running popularity contests
- IDGAF that you cheated or cut the course because that's on you
- IDGAF how many likes or followers I have because quality > quantity
- IDGAF that my fastest pace (sub 9) almost made me hurl and only lasted a couple of minutes
Seriously, no f*cks given.
So as I reflect on Global Running Day and the meaning of running, I look deep inside to the only runner that I give a f*ck about - ME.
Running is my biggest challenge. I hate it. I love it. When it's bad, it's bad. When it's good, it's good. When I push hard and I feel that horrible burning and tightness in my chest, that ugly sting of asthma, I push harder. Sometimes I regret it and sometimes I don't. There are times when I show up to the start line not caring what happens next and times when I care too much. Some days the time on the Gamin matters, but most days it doesn't or is too inaccurate to rely on. Seriously, why rely on a watch when it is my body and mind that propels me? The action is what matters. The commitment is what matters.
I accept that being average is frowned upon in the running community but IDGAF. I'm happy being an average runner because right now I CAN run. There will be a day when running will be something I remember not something I do. I take my verbs seriously.
When the day comes that I can only remember running, I will remember these average runner days with fondness and extraordinary greatness.