How do YOU define yourself?

January 30, 2012 · 2 comments

Today J and I were debriefing after our indoor triathlon…yes the conversation we have after we finish a race where we talk about how it went…not the part where we got undressed.

J said that in the recent past, she didn’t really think of herself as a runner except for on race day. That thought spoke to me and I started thinking about that…

I recall when I first started running- run walking or shuffling really…but I was still running. That first year I did at least (3) 5ks and (2) sprint triathlons. I walked part of each run and I thought to myself “I’ll be a real runner when I can run the whole race without stopping to walk.”

Over the course of the next five years I’ve done 5k’s, 10k’s, a half-marathon, Sprint triathlons, Olympic distance triathlons, Muddy Buddies, and logged hundreds, if not thousands of hours on the treadmill training. At what point did I finally believe I was a runner?

I wish I knew. I’d like to say it was the first 5k race I ran straight without stopping…or when I did my 1/2 mary that I had a moment at the finish where I thought, I did it, I am finally a runner, for real. But I didn’t.

The truth is, I was a runner the whole time, I just didn’t believe it. J tells me sometimes that she has two speeds, walking or running. Which cracks me up every time. The new treadmills at the gym have pre-programmed speed buttons and I took offense to that to “run” you had to go a 6.0 pace (10min mile) when I generally run at a 5.5 or so.

But it’s true, you’re either walking or running, no matter the speed. So if you’re not walking, you’re running and therefore a runner!

So that got me to thinking that maybe I had done myself a disservice by not considering myself a runner, not embracing the thought of being a runner because I didn’t think I qualified or fit the mold.

I know I’m a runner now…maybe it just took me time to get used to and accept the idea.

I’m not only a runner though. I’ve defined myself in other ways too…wife and mother obviously, and writer…though this last one has ¬†been a little hard for me to accept wholeheartedly…kind of like the role of runner. One part of me thinks, I’ve written a whole book that has these great characters and things that happen to them and there’s love and murder and action and sex…so of course I’m a writer! The other side of me says you’re not published, but once you’re published you’ll be a writer for real and then you can actually call yourself a writer.

No, I’m not doing that, not again. I AM a writer dammit. I think the more I write and the more I believe in it, it will come to pass. If I have faith in anything, it’s faith in myself to work hard to make things happen for myself. And so it shall be done.

How do you define yourself?

Are you not giving yourself enough credit by not defining yourself as you should?

How will you define yourself differently this year in an effort to reach your life goals?



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill Dettman January 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I know it’s all about one’s own perception of herself, and no one can make someone believe anything about themselves until they are ready to do so on their own, but Shine, my dear friend, you are one amazing writer. The publishing world hasn’t discovered that yet, but it’s no less true.

We evolved into runners. We started out being girls who put one foot in front of the other. Over the last few years, we’ve genuinely become runners. Not just publicly, but in our own hearts and minds. I think that if you do something every day, you can use that term to describe yourself. We run every day, so we’re runners. You write everyday, and I think it’s legitimate to say you’re a writer. Believe it of yourself. You earn that title every single day.


Shine February 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

So true, you can’t perceive until you believe and I am all about believing these days!Thanks for your support!


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