What is a Runner? Response to Barefoot Running University Post

What is a Runner?  Response to Barefoot Running University Post

Staff Writer Kate Kift asks the Question: What is a “Runner”?  in a post on Barefoot Running University’s Blog. 

The definition of a Runner is simple “A person who believes they are a runner, whether fast or slow, run short distances or long, and while doing so enjoy running”

In life many things are given titles like runner, athlete, father, and friend.  One might say that each of these titles has qualifications or standards, but I feel there is more to these titles then a list of what make you that title. 

First is belief

Using runner as our title, a person must first believe they are a runner before they can accept that they are one.  Others may call them a runner because they participate in races, and activities that involve running, but unless the person believes they are a runner it’s a meaningless title given by others.  A “Runner” believes that when they participate in that activity they are part of it.  Not a spectator along for the ride, but a piece of the action.  They believe that when they participate they belong there.  Any doubt that they don’t belong will hinder them from being a runner. 

Second is the activity

Believing you are a runner while sitting on the couch all day doesn’t make you a runner.  The activity or action of running no matter what pace or distance must be participated in.  Take for example a doctor, a person who is schooled in the art and science of healing others.  If the person is schooled, but never participates in healing does it make them a doctor?  Same applies to running.  No activity = not being a runner.

Third is enjoyment

Just because a person believes they are a runner, does the activity, doesn’t make them a runner if they hate doing it.  A doctor tells this person that you will get fat and die an early death if you don’t participate in some kind of activity.  The person believes running is the easiest form of activity that will burn the most calories the quickest so they run.  They hate every step and only participate in it because they believe the doctor is right, and don’t want to die an early death.  Does this make them a runner? 

You could break down any title in this fashion, but after an awesome weekend with my family I want to break down the title of “Father”

Just because a man is the X half of the reproductive system doesn’t make him a father.  Does it make him responsible for ½ of the reproductive products existence, Yes it does. 

Belief in being a father,
Accepting the role of being a father is the first step in being one.  A person believing that the responsibility and upbringing of offspring is a responsibility not a right.  Its about believing your role as a father to the point of action.

Taking the action of being a father,
Sitting on the sidelines watching mom doing all the raising doesn’t make you anymore of a dad then a water boy on the sidelines of a football game.  Putting on the helmet and getting in the game.  Some fathers play a better role at offense, leading their offspring through life.  Some fathers play better defense by protecting their kids from the opposing forces.  Either way fathers take action and play in the game.  Sitting on the sidelines playing arm chair quarterback doesn’t get your kids anywhere.

Enjoying the role,
Going to work everyday and trying to provide for your kids can sometimes make a person feel like the owner of the team, not the coach or quarterback.  The provider many times hates their role.  They do the minimal amount required to get the kids through, but along the way hate every minute of it.  There are probably moments were they believed they are a father long enough to get their kids in the game, gave the kids just enough to get them there, but fooled everyone by playing along.  Enjoy being a father. 

So in closing in order to be something you have to believe, take action, and enjoy the opportunity given to you!

1 comment

  1. Kate Kift

    Brandon, great response and echo’s some of the next post Jason will publish, which is my version of “the perfect runner”. You are right that to be a runner you need to be part of the experience. I think this is a great change we are seeing where people realise that running ISN’T a means to an end, but is an experience we should embrace and actively engage in.

    Nice response I like it a lot.

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