I had an interesting conversation with someone last night. They were telling me that they WANTED to be a runner (had even said as much to their husband), but couldn’t see it ever happening. When I asked why, they were unable to really answer. The only thing they could say is because the wouldn’t. After, the required <X Body part> hurts (to which I suggested looking into Chi-Running – similar in style to what i am working on), it was simply because she wouldn’t do it. Couldn’t see herself as a runner.
I wish it was possible to really explain to non-runner (or want-to-be runners) what it is like. I have heard poeple say “Why run a 5k? I know I’m not going to win – I’ll probably be last.” These people don’t realize that the last person to finish, finishes to the crowd’s applause. We grow up in either our “everybody wins” or “second place is the first loser” culture – but don’t really grasp the idea of racing/competing against one’s self. I know for me, I am bummed that my times are going to be slower than they were last year. I’m not the least bit concerned with where I place in the pack, just that I won’t be as good as I was then. Even with this consideration, I am still going to run road-races, and in my second one back, I will try to beat my time from the first one. And in that first one? I’m just going to enjoy being out there again.
But how can you explain to someone that hasn’t been there – no one cares how you do. To runners, there are those of us that are out running the race that day – and then there are those that aren’t. I can only imagine that this becomes even more true, as the distance increases. I know when I told other runners that I had crossed the “10 mile” distance in practice, it seemed to be a new club.. Those that run over 10, and those that don’t.. And no one thinks more/less of anyone that has or hasn’t done it, its simply something to be noted and proud of. At least until I hit the 15 mile mark..
And how can you encourate someone to try?
As a non-runner – and one who really does not want to run (as I never liked it), I offer this as an idea.
In reading your post I noted that there is a life lesson, if you will, within what you say. Life is a race against ourselves. We should always strive to be better than we were last time. (Where time is yesterday, last week, last month, last year, decade, etc.)
Perhaps those who say they want to run (the future runners) know this in some way, but are afraid to challenge themselves. Looking at oneself that closely can be a frightening thing for people.
At any rate, an interesting thought to ponder for myself in the why do I not like running, what holds me back from starting to learn to be a runner, and potentially why am I afraid to challenge myself.
I think you are right on the life lessons aspect. Many people (I suspect) never “start to run’ – simply because they cannot find the will to get off the couch. Not just running, but so many opportunities are lost to this – I know I have been guilty of it. (Otherwise I would have done a Marathon years ago.)
Maybe we just need things to overcome our fear and hesitance. For some it might be a heart attack encouraging them to get off the couch, while to others that fear of ‘Failure’ (without ever stopping to wonder what they might ‘fail’) could be it.
Fascinating thoughts there Nest, Thank you!