Since I’ve been running I’ve learned to step aside when I realize there are runner’s coming up behind me. It’s a pet peeve of mine when I have to say, “Excuse me,” to people who should clearly hear me coming up the rear so I try to show similar respect to other runners. Sometimes I’m thanked, other times I’m ignored. Either way I know I’ve done the right thing.
Last night a young woman was coming up behind Matt and I and I told him to move aside because of the runner. She smiled and said, “Not a runner, Jogger,” and as she passed by, I said back to her,”Honey you’re running, you’re a runner.” What it made me realize though was unlike any other sport or exercise that I can think of, running has a stigma,” You are a either a runner or you are not.” And a lot of times it seems people who consider themselves hardcore runners will say Not. But why is that? You workout, you run, you run distances, why can’t you be a runner? Why is it that people have to pile into forums like in Runner’s World to ask when do they get to become a runner? And if anyone has read the Runner’s World Forums they know just how downright mean some people can get.
Here’s my thing; if you run and run distance then you’re a friggin’ runner: plain and simple. If I go to the gym, it is generally considered that I’m a person who exercises. No one goes to gym forums and asks, when am I officially exercising? So why is there so much pressure from people who run to know exactly when they can call themselves runners?