As members of the running community, there’s often a secret language we use to talk to each other: fartleks, splits, Clydesdale, LSDs (long slow distance runs, not the drug, people), and minimalism, just to name a few. We also have our own set of “celebrities” that the normal person might not be familiar with. However, we seem to take for granted a few things that non-runners just don’t understand.
I had to go to the most obvious one first. As runners, we use our bodies to move us across that finish line. As someone who has had multiple knee surgeries and have had to cut back my running, I can tell you it’s not something I ever thought about until it was taken away from me. So the next time you find yourself complaining about your next run, perhaps take a moment to give thanks that you can even run in the first place.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s not considered normal conversation to take about (or heaven forbid SHOW) people your blackened toenails, bloody nipples or chafed thighs. Runners understand these things as simply something that happens when you run far or frequently. A non-runner understands these things as highly disgusting and not something he or she even wants to think about, let alone discuss.
This only applies to runners who are blessed with an internal shoe-finder and have never suffered through miles in ill-fitting shoes. To you, I say Bah! Humbug!
Throughout all the different activities I’ve participated in, I have never found a more accepting and encouraging group as the running community. Of course, my friends and family always support me in my endeavors, but when I’m running a race, complete strangers root me on, push me forward when I want to stop and cheer for my little victories. That, my friends, is not a common thing and one that we all need to be thankful for. Make sure you’re adding to that supportive community as well.
Unless you are one, you probably don’t think too much about this special group. These are the runners who know they’re not going to win when they step to that starting line but continue to show up anyway. They are the driving force behind this community. Let’s be honest, how many people run races that are actually competing to win the whole thing? A very small minority. Who’s funding this running obsession of ours? The back of the packers, that’s who! (Middle of the packers apply as well — I didn’t forget about you). Besides, we make you other runners look even faster. You’re welcome.
These are just a few things we as runners should be grateful for and not take for granted.
Featured image credit: iStock photo, Copyright: matthewennisphotography