Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Runners are AWESOME!!! I volunteered at a Run Fest that included a 1.5 mile Fun Run, a 5K and a Half-Marathon. I was working at a water station that supplied all three races and therefore all levels of runners. The station was located on an "out and back" portion of the runs, so I would see every runner twice.
What an experience that was! When you are running the race, you are all about you. You are focused on your own experience and running the race with the best time that you have in you. When you are a volunteer or bystander you see things differently. I was able to experience other runner's races for just a moment and it was very inspiring. I saw myself in so many of their faces and it gave me a whole new perspective on "who is a runner".
The ages ranged from 5 years to 73 years and was both male and female. There were runners who have been running many years and had the bodies to show for it. There were runners who newer to the run trying to lose weight and get in shape, just hoping to finish. There was a young family of four that make running a family activity and travel all over to races.
I seen a piece of myself and relived some of my own experiences in all of them. Hopefully, I also seen some of what is yet to come for me. I have experienced a whole range of feelings that helped make me the runner that I am today. I know some of those thoughts all too well. "I'm to fat to do this. Who do I think I am. I can't make it. Are people staring at me? I'm not a runner. I think I can do this. I'm starting to get better at this. I've lost some weight. I don't care who stares. I finished my first race! I'll sign up for another. I've won a medal, woohoo! I AM A RUNNER!"
Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages. We are beginners and we are lifers. No matter what stage of the run you are in, if you run, you are a runner and we all cross the same finish line. We run because it improves our lives and the lives of others. You are all an inspiration to me and I thank you sincerely. I love you all! Keep on running! You are doing awesome!