You aren’t who you were

This week at physical therapy my therapist asked me “What is your best mile time”. I sort of chuckled. OK I really laughed out loud, and said – I don’t think I can run one right now. Which is obviously not totally true – but really, let’s be honest.

One of things I have always loved about running is that you can look at and see instantly where you stack up compared to other runners. Running in its competitive sense gives you more information about who is the best than almost any other sport.

With the comparison to others, in this sport it inevitably leads to a comparison with yourself. A different version of you. That availability of data can be unrelenting, unfair, and sometimes cumbersome.

I have always been a runner. I have always loved running. I had maybe a 4 year stretch from sophomore year of high school to sophomore year of college where I was on a totally different level. I was healthy, I was hungry, I was ready to take on the challenges.

I am no less of a runner now (considering my current weight I am actually much more of a runner) but the numbers don’t add up if I try to compare and that has been a piece I have been working on letting go.

I run with a lot of people who found running as adults. They love running for all of the amazing things running can do for them. Often times as these folks run they set a new PR just by being out there. A distance, a time, a number. It’s exciting and new for them and sometimes I envy the simplicity of this. For them, running is running.

I have often times found myself “stuck” in the past, and for once with the answer to the question “What is your best mile time” I didn’t really want to go back. It wasn’t relevant. I am not that runner right now. I am this runner. Tomorrow will be a different runner. One foot at a time, moving forward. I am not who I was and that is starting to feel really ok by me.


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