I just recently laid to rest my trail runners. Unfortunately, the smell, the worn-out hole, and missing sole was enough to put them to pasture. They were a good shoe and sturdy companion throughout this winter. I can say with sadness that they will be dearly missed.
However, in times passing life must move-on and it was time for me to purchase a new sneaker to be my running companion.
I looked high and low for the sneaker that would suit my crackling knees and fussy shins.
The moment I saw them, I knew they would be the perfect fit. The store clerk got my size and we began to talk about running as I tried them on wandered about the store.
“What do you think?”
“They feel great!”
“It’s more of a minimalist sneaker. It’s very popular! But you know someone told me if you wear Nike’s you can’t be considered a real runner.”
I looked at her with an eye roll, “Really?”
She replied, “Yes, there are lots of people out there that believe it. You would be surprised.”
I laughed at her, “Isn’t that a bit elitist?”
And with that I looked at the sneakers. I knew they were for me.
But It got me thinking – what makes a runner? Who has the right to look at your shoes and declare if you are a runner or not?
It was obvious to me that I may not be the fastest runner, nor do I run long distances. But almost everyday I try to hit the pavement training for my first 10km race at the end of May.
It is on my runs, I sweat, work-up a heart beat, pump my arms, and move my legs. In my books anyone who takes the time to set up a goal, reach a distance, and run is a runner. It’s not by your shoes, or your looks, but how you move your feet.
I can tell you I took my new babies out for a test run through the trails, hopping over puddles, and running in stride. They were everything I would want in a sneaker! So if that eliminates me as a runner to others – so be it! My heart, lungs, and feet know that I run and that’s all that matters!
How would you define a runner? Do you think there is there elitism in every sport?