Did you win? How fast can you run (insert distance)? How far do you run? You don't look like a runner!
I initially struggled to identify as a runner because I didn't look like one, you know, skin-on-bone looking type of runner nor did I run as fast as one. I am naturally built like a tank. I embrace my genetic make-up and strive to be the best athlete I can be in my chosen sport. I get up very early in the morning and I run. Consistently. When people think of runners, they're often bench-marking against the elites. The vast majority of runners aka middle of the pack runners are largely overlooked. We're considered 'flowers' by non-runners; they think we're there for display purposes! Marathons wouldn't be the same without these people, without runners like me (and most likely you who is reading this), to pad the attendance numbers and make it a fun, social experience.
Anyway, after a substantial amount of time spent running I still don’t resemble the fitness magazine cover guys or the elite marathon runners, but I’ve managed to stay in good shape, enough to continue showing up to races better than the last time and beating the athlete I was yesterday.
If you lace up, show up and run; that makes you a runner. Own it - “For as he thinks within himself, so he is” - (Prov. 23:7)
Pro tip: If you run long enough, you’ll come across really inspiring people. Sometimes you’ll even discover that you’re one of them for someone else– especially if you’re struggling. So don’t let the fear of struggling through a run keep you from doing it. You may be just the inspiration someone else needs.