The defining moment.


I have always loved that meme. But for me personally I never thought it was true.

When I ran my first 5K in 2005, I was not a runner. When I ran my second one more than 5 years later, I still wasn’t a runner. Even when I ran 4 miles along the beach in Santa Barbara during many of my lunch hours, I considered myself consistent, but I still didn’t consider myself a runner. Santa Barbara is still the most beautiful place I’ve ever run though.

My defining moment came in August. I had been waking up at dawn on Saturday for months already and running in all kinds of different weather conditions. I had purchased my GPS watch and dropped a sizable amount of cash on new shoes. I had already run in my first 10K. I was getting faster. My mileage was getting longer. None of this had anything to do with it. I did all those things and still felt like kind of a fraud.

The day I realized I was a runner was a regular work day and I had just come back inside from my lunch break run. As I was changing in the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised to see how tan I was. More importantly how awkward my tan was. I had the most serious farmer tan of my life in the shape of my racer back, running shorts, and socks. For some reason it clicked right then and a tan that in the past would have made me cringe and cover up with embarrassment, made me feel strangely proud. I had spent so much time working hard in the hot summer sun wearing my running uniform that it was outlined onto my body.

On the way home I stopped and bought some sunscreen. You can never be too careful. 🙂

When was your defining moment?

~ Salt


3 thoughts on “The defining moment.

  1. lifebetweenthemiles says:

    Great post, and yes, don’t forget that sunscreen 🙂 My defining moment wasn’t until I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon. At that point, after all the training, blisters, sweat and tears, I finally felt like I was a true runner. I haven’t looked back since then!

  2. txa1265 says:

    I think it is very interesting for those of us who didn’t do competitive running and/or started as adults … we have a hard time calling ourselves runners. I am coming up on my 25-year ‘runnerversary’, but it wasn’t until 2012 I would call myself a runner. I ran my first 5K in May (still not a runner), and a few more of those, and a 8k, then a half-marathon (getting there but still not) … it wasn’t until I ran my first full marathon at 46 last October that I could finally say … I am a Runner.

    Which is stupid, I know. But it is what we do to ourselves. Along with the tan … which is more of an issue for women – I had a friend show pictures of a wedding she was a guest at this summer, serious racer-back tan 🙂

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