Am I A Runner Yet?
I’ve never thought of myself as a runner.
- Runners run track in high school and continue to run races throughout college and adulthood.
- Runners look the part—they’re thin, have the latest gear, and have heated debates about socks and shoes.
- Runners are fast, never walk on a long run, and can knock out a 5k before work.
- Runners actually enjoy running.
None of that has ever been me. Growing up, I was more likely to be found behind a book or an instrument than out running laps. I used to dread Physical Fitness Test Day in gym class and tried every excuse to get out of having to run a mile around our high school. Don’t get me wrong—I was active and loved to play sports. But just straight running? I never understood it.
Yet somehow here I am with countless 5ks and two half marathons under my belt, so something must’ve changed, right? I blame two things:
- Diabetes: Once I got past the initial denial and depression and came to terms with what it meant to live with diabetes, I became slightly more serious about my health and fitness. I decided it was in my best interest to do the best I could to live a long and healthy life alongside this chronic intruder.
- I hate sitting still: I drive my wife crazy on Saturday mornings when all she wants to do is relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and ease into the day (like a normal person), and I’m up with the sun and ready to shoot out the door by 9am like a restless three-year-old.
Still, I never viewed myself as a “runner.” I ran in college when I first lived on my own as a way to combat boredom, then as a way to deal with stress. When I moved to Brooklyn, I ran as a way of exploring the neighborhood and to save on paying for an upscale gym. Then when I met my wife, I ran as a way to spend time with her because she was always running.
I’ve never been fast and sometimes I still have to walk for a quarter of a mile when we’re on a long run. I don’t particularly enjoy running and I still don’t know where I stand on the Nike vs. Adidas vs. Brooks debate, so can I really call myself a runner?
I think the answer is yes. I’ve come to a new realization that a runner is simply a person who laces up and puts one foot in front of the other. I’ve never thought of myself as a runner. But now that I’ve started training for a marathon, I think it’s time that I start.
Help me get to the finish line by visiting my Fundraising Page. Donations of all sizes are very much appreciated and go toward education, advocacy, and a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Follow my journey here, on Instagram as @type1cousins, @bridgetwoznica, and through the hashtag #BridgetRunsNYC.