I used to run back in High School, but I really had no idea what I was doing. I just ran as part of the school team. And I was barely passable as a runner. In fact, during some post-graduation conversation with my coach wherein I was commenting on how I thought I was finally getting it, he responded "Yeah. You could probably be an occasional recreational runner."
... Hardly inspiring words for an admittedly un-inspiring runner.
I stopped running somewhere in college. When asked, I answered, "I used to run"
Fast forward to my 30s and after a bit of Woe-is-me-I-never-get-out-anymore type whining, I remembered that I used to run and that I loved it. Or maybe I was just frustrated and had no creative solutions. So I went for a few late night runs.
And it all came back to me.
- I remembered that I liked the feeling of earning my physical exhaustion rather than having it bestowed upon me.
- I enjoyed those brief moments when my thoughts drifted and I wasn't thinking about anything in particular.
- And that I liked that bit of tiredness in my legs that told me I went somewhere.
- I liked the solutions of long unsolved problems that simply popped into my head at the end of a run.
- I was crushing 2-3 audiobooks per month. And enjoying reading again (another hobby I "gave up" in college)
In short, I acquired some maturity and I developed an appreciation for what my body and mind experience when I run. And because of all that, eventually I began to cover greater distances and log more miles.
I'm a runner. Sure, I may be recreational. However, I am anything but occasional.