“I’m not really a runner,” she said. The man at the running store laughed. “Nearly everyone says that,” he answered.

I’ve described myself as “not a runner, but someone who runs,” for years. Each time I say it my running friends correct me. “You are a runner,” they say. “You are.”

I am. I may not be a fast runner, and I may not be a good runner, but I run – when I can – at least a couple times a week. I guess that makes me a runner. I’ve run as far as six miles, which may not be far for my running friends (or daughter, or husband) but it’s far for me. It may be – at least for now – the farthest I ever want to go, but it’s far for me, and I guess that makes me a runner.

What’s interesting to me is why I (and others) claim not to be runners. Do I worry that there’s a level of running that I should, but haven’t and won’t, hit? Do I judge myself because I run – and will probably always run – slower then those I know and run with, and for shorter distances? Do I – per usual – set a standard that I have to meet before my running counts, and I count?

Am I trying to be a perfect runner?

This time I don’t think it’s just me and my perfectionism. This time I think there’s maybe an overarching benchmark that many of us feel we have to hold ourselves too. This time I think I’m not alone in my self-judgment and self-deprecation.

I call many of my clients out on their not owning their strengths and accomplishments. I remind them that they’re more powerful when they admit how powerful they are, and that they can have more impact (and more joy) when they confess to what they’ve accomplished and all they do.

I think there is at least a mild epidemic of not owning who we are, what we do, and the value we bring. And I think it’s a good time to stop the epidemic in its tracks.

I am a runner. Maybe a slower runner. Maybe a runner of shorter distances. But a runner nonetheless.

Own it, baby I say!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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