Most of the time I go about my life thinking, feeling and acting like I’m a normal person, easily blending in with the non-runners around me. But every now and then I find myself in certain situations acting “out of the norm” and I remember: “oh ya. I’m a runner”. Some examples from a recent experience at a child’s birthday party:
The birthday was a swimming party. All went fine until I found myself wincing, and easing into the pool ever so gingerly anticipating the stinging which would tell me how badly I was chafed from that morning’s long run. Not too bad, although I got some odd looks from the marks I seem to constantly sport and tend to forget about.
Then I attempted to start up conversations by talking about the most current world issue: the men’s marathon world record of course, which had just been broken that morning! In my mind, the world had changed just a little bit as the limits of human potential had been stretched. I was received by either blank stares or pleasant nods and a change of subject. I made mental note to brush up on non-running related current events to increase my ability to maintain interest in a conversation for more than thirty seconds.
After the pool, it was on to the party room. It was a warm day, and almost everyone was in sandals, but I was working my fall footwear, hiding my callouses and damaged toe nails. I have been told by some pedicurists that my feet aren’t that bad. For a runner. But I was paying those people. I think I should take it to mean they are that bad. For “normal” people. On with the fall weather and close-toed shoes regardless of the summer temperatures!
Then it was pizza time. I tried to calmly graze on my one slice of pizza, but I was hungrily eyeballing all of the crusts on the kids’ plates which were left un-eaten. Oh, sweet carbs! I wondered if it would look too strange if I did a tour of the room, scooping up and eating all the left-over crusts.
In the end, although I’m different, most people are very accepting of my running-quirkiness. In fact, despite my odd actions and appearances at that party, I ended up with a few more recruits to join me on my early morning runs. Just a warning: once you become one of us, you will never quite be the same!