The One Thing Newbie Runners Need to Stop Doing

Photo by Malik Skydsgaard on Unsplash

Nerve damage made me do it.

I was 6'5", 245 lbs, and could bench press nearly double my bodyweight — I was big, strong, and athletic.

After several years of dedicated weightlifting, I started having difficulty raising my right arm. Eventually, that lack of mobility developed and was diagnosed as severe nerve damage that left me unable to lift my arm above shoulder height.

No longer able to lift weights, I was forced to find a new outlet. I stumbled upon running and quickly took a liking to it. After running a handful of short-distance races and a couple of marathons, I was hooked. And I haven’t looked back since.

That’s my journey to becoming a runner, but I’m guessing yours looks a bit different. And that’s totally fine. In fact, that’s how it should be.

Everyone’s journey is going to be different. You could have been running your entire life. Or you could have never run in your life. The important part is that you are a runner now.

Regardless of how you got your start, the important part is that you run now. The how is unimportant.

Everyone is unique, and their journey to becoming a runner is no different.

Oftentimes I hear new runners say something like, “Oh, I’m not a runner, I’ve only been running for a couple of months.” They immediately disqualify themselves based on how they got their start or how long they’ve been running for.

While understandable (I too found myself thinking this way), this way of thinking will not benefit you or make you a better runner. In fact, comparing yourself to others in this way is a sure-fire way of getting discouraged.

It doesn’t matter how you got your start, how long you’ve been running, how fast you run, what you run in, or where you run.

If you enjoy getting outside and moving your body, you are a runner. Don’t compare your journey to others’.

Your time, distance, clothing, shoes, or pace do not matter.

Comparing yourself to others will never benefit you. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone is unique. Be grateful that you found your way to running in the first place and embrace your journey to becoming a better runner.

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