Runner? Or someone who runs?

There has never been any doubt in my mind that I am a musician. I have been playing instruments since the 4th grade, I can read music, I sing for days and I have always had music as part of my identity. 

Me in grade school playing accordion with my Grandpa

I always felt like a musician at every age, size and weight. I didn’t need constant reminders. I have grown up around it. I eat, sleep and breathe musical theater.  It didn’t take a certain number of lessons, performances, my Bachelor’s degree or amount of compliments and positive self talk to know it. I’ve always known it and believed it. 

I was thinking about that statement yesterday as I was running. Sometimes I still don’t see myself as a runner or an athlete. I was listening to Run, Selfie, Repeat’s podcast about it and milling on it while running last night. 

Tuesday night running

For the longest thing I thought of myself as someone who runs. Not a runner. Someone who runs. When I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon, I thought of myself as someone who has run a half marathon. Then the second, third, fourth ones passed and I was still someone who had run four half marathons not a runner. Then the 5th one came and I had a supreme PR of 2:26:01 and I thought of myself who ran almost as fast as the average person.  Maybe I was a runner. 

Then I trained and ran my first full marathon. Maybe I was a runner? Does 26.2 miles equate to making you a runner?  I still wasn’t sure at that point. 

Mile 10 of the marathon

Then I hired a running coach. Does that make me a runner now that I have someone helping me achieve my goals?  Still wasn’t sure. But it made me more confident that someone else was looking at my progress and helping me get better. 

Then I was chosen to represent two amazing programs as an Ambassador. Mermaid and CIM. If I didn’t see myself as a runner yet, they did. I had a big surprise in my inbox when both of those emails came through in October 2016 and January 2017, respectively. I was starting to feel like a runner. An athlete, even?

Right now my runs are a struggle. I’m carrying extra weight and I have gotten a little out of shape from taking a running break for my show. But that doesn’t make me any less of a runner. I still struggle to call myself a runner.  An athlete? That’s a leap. Some days I see it and some days I don’t. But I am a runner even if it’s new, frustrating and scary. Just like I have always been a musician, from the moment of my first clarinet lesson. Just takes time to believe it. And I’ll get there. ❤️

Cheers runners!

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