Friday, September 7, 2018

Power of Labels

Until 2018, I called myself a jogger because I'm not fast, nor did I do long races. I ran for stress relief, for endorphins, and to socialize. But once I ran 10 miles in April, in 14 degrees, I decided I was due for an upgrade and proudly claimed the title. Labels have power. Some beneficial, some not at all. Runner is one of those powerful ones. One I only admired from afar, but have actually become! All of a sudden using that label I felt more legitimate and less like I had to justify jogging vs. running. !

Now four months later training for a half marathon, I can DEFINITELY claim it! I've heard it said before, but it's truly more a mental thing than anything! I'm training this time around with no music-previously the only way I can run and for race day I'll probably prepare a playlist just in case! But this time it's more about kinesthetic memory of my legs running and less about the beat they're running to and guess what? I am running lighter, faster, and more consistently than ever before! Even with ten days of not running AT ALL (granted I was schlepping canoes and paddling for some of that), I ran almost 7 yesterday with no issues and another 5 today. So I'm less anxious of the week before the race only hiking in Glacier-though the distances will be comparable! And I'm not sore. And I feel great!

I realized how many expectations I was putting on the label "runner." And just decided to stop doing that. It's no different than "musician," really. I get to define what these terms mean and as long as I do the activity I can use the label. Almost halfway into thirty and I can't think of a year where I feel freer (yay no school!), healthier, or more self-assured about an age where I am FINALLY embracing my whole self and not letting previous limits or preconceived notions of what a runner or musician is stop me. I'm done letting society tell me what I am/am not supposed to be doing, own, or have. I am living my life that IS what I am doing, have, and am. And it feels pretty excellent!

So here's to 2018-a year of being a runner and a musician. Thanks, thirty. You're pretty wise :)

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