Every other day, for the past five months (up until that three week haitus but then I was right back at it, so let’s just pretend it never happened), I have gone running. So, I guess you could say I’m a runner. I tried out the title by calling myself one recently and someone I’ll call The Belittler asked me, “Well, do you actually go running or just jogging?” I got out the dictionary and found that a runner is one who runs or one who competes in a race. *cough* Ahem. It said nothing about being fast or good. Then I looked up “jogger” and it said, obsolete since 1986. So, yeah. I AM A RUNNER.

I kind of like being a runner.

I did not expect this. And every day I choose to run, I am still a little surprised that I actually am doing it. As I walk the half mile from my house to the starting point on my running trail, I repeat to myself, “You are going to run.” It’s almost a question.

Walking Trail

When Dave runs with me, he gives me a head start. He’s faster than me and claims that the head start is to allow us to finish together. I think he sends me out first to clear the path of snakes, because he’s afraid of them.

I press play on my iPod.

Here It Goes Again by Ok Go. The first four minutes of my run are the worst. I kind of hate the first four minutes. They feel the way a baby deer learning to walk looks. I ask myself, Why are you doing this?

Sooner or Later by The Grass Roots. I want to look at my watch to see how long I’ve been running, even though I know how long I’ve been running, which is not very long at all.

Fox on the Run by Sweet. I wish I had a t-shirt that said Foxy on the run.

I Think We’re Alone Now by Tommy James & The Shondells. Why am I doing this? I am doing this because it feels AWESOME.

More Than A Feeling by Boston. I feel like I could run forever.

Always With Me, Always With You by Joe Satriani. Except I’m listening to the version by Ron Thal because it’s better. I hit my zone. My rhythm is perfect. I don’t have to think about running anymore, I just do it. My body is on auto-pilot and moving fast, but in my mind, things are slowing down and I stretch and breathe and relax and think and dream and La Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams and Runaway by The Corrs.

Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade. I’m hot and sweaty and getting tired, but I want to finish strong. I push and dig and try to pick up some speed. I pretend I’m running from zombies. Not the slow ones. The fast ones with the rage from 28 Days Later.

Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne. Almost done. Go girl!

Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. I run as fast and as hard as I can. I give it everything I’ve got up to the end where Dave is waiting with a high five. I feel alive! Also a little like I might throw up. But mostly incredible, like I can do anything! Like anything is possible.

And it is. Because I am a runner. No one would have ever guessed. Not even me.