For 20-years, running has been my primary source of fitness and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know quite a few runners along the way. My connections have ranged from deep rooted friendships that developed through time on the pavement, to the camaraderie of local running clubs, to most recently coaching a middle school Cross Country team. My time in the laced up shoes has afforded me a unique opportunity to witness some very common characteristics we runners seem to share. I don’t claim to offer any hard science behind my observations, but something tells me that most of my fellow runners (or lovers of runners) will agree that we runners share some common threads that are undeniable.
- We are deep thinkers. We analyze things to pieces. Spend time with a runner and you will doubtfully be talking about sports or the weather. We like to get down to the root of topics and ideas.
- We are perfectionists. Whatever we do, we try to do right. We don’t tend to take the path of least resistance but rather take all steps necessary to reach 100% every time.
- We are introverts. We like solitude and are perfectly ok with being alone with our thoughts for long periods of time.
- We are goal oriented. We like to have something to aim for. Whether it be our next PR, completing new mileage heights or just achieving the accomplishment of our next race – we gain satisfaction from some type of “Everest.”
- We are intrinsically competitive. We like to succeed and due to our introverted, perfectionist natures – we prefer a sport where we rely only on ourselves to reach our 100%.
- We are sensitive souls. We think a lot, therefore we feel a lot. We pick up on the energy of others very easily and tend to internalize situations that may have nothing to do with us.
- We are acutely aware of our surroundings. We know a car is coming before it can be seen or even heard. We inherently know if we need to clear the path for an oncoming visitor. We can even sense the mood of fellow runners we bypass on the roads.
- We are hard on ourselves. How can we not be when we are constantly thinking, analyzing, setting goals and competing with our last peak?
- We are full of passion. We love deeply. We work hard. We play hard.
- We are committed. We are not fair weathered athletes, employees or friends. When we are in, we are fully in. This is a group you can count on.
In a nutshell, we runners are a unique breed. Some understand us, some don’t. Some think we are crazy, some admire our tenacity. I for one couldn’t imagine life any other way. Running is part of my fiber. It has helped mold me into the person I am today.
I now have the joy of witnessing my son take on the running persona, and I have to tell you – I’m one proud mama. It brings me great joy to know that he is on a journey that will help him understand who he is and where he is going.
It’s taken some time for me to recognize the common threads, but I’ve definitely had a glimpse at the runner uncovered.