40 Reasons I’m Not a Professional Runner

January 18, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Branding

Something you don’t know about me: In a previous life I was a pretty serious runner. Competing and training consumed me the way blogging does now. But, at some point in my life I had to give it up and put my energy elsewhere. There are lots of reasons why I am not a professional runner today. Here are a few:

  1. I have a bad knee
  2. My feet hurt too badly after I run
  3. My ankle never healed correctly when I shattered it falling down a hill
  4. My coach gave up on me
  5. The new girls below me stole my thunder
  6. The team didn’t like me
  7. I was overlooked for major competitions
  8. I worked too hard
  9. I wanted to spend more time with my friends
  10. I knew I’d never make the Olympics anyway
  11. I needed to focus on my schoolwork
  12. I didn’t have time to train
  13. It was too cold to run in the mornings
  14. I was too tired at the end of my day
  15. Running on snow and ice is dangerous
  16. My coach didn’t understand how to train me
  17. The trainers couldn’t tape my ankles tight enough
  18. I was tired of going through physical therapy
  19. It was taking over my life
  20. The program I was in wasn’t good enough
  21. No one listened to me
  22. I hated being the anchor of the relay
  23. There was too much travel
  24. The team was too big
  25. The team was too small
  26. Other people were built for it better than I was
  27. I couldn’t drop down to 110 like I needed to
  28. It was too hard to build muscle
  29. Politics
  30. Running in front of lights scared me
  31. Banked tracks scared me
  32. I wanted to run the 800, but they needed me on the 400
  33. Others had more experience
  34. Other girls had stronger names
  35. I was splitting my time between track and soccer
  36. My teammates thought I was washed up
  37. I wasn’t allowed to alter my workouts for my body
  38. My body rejected it
  39. I didn’t have time for anything else
  40. Other people ruined it for me

Or maybe I’m the reason.

Amber Naslund hit the nail on the head yesterday with her post It’s not them. It’s you. The difference between people who do and those that don’t are the lengths they’re willing to go to achieve their goal and to push themselves. It’s about committing to losing the excuses and to keep moving forward even though you know sometimes you’re going to fail. On the track they teach you never to look behind you. Because when you do, you immediately break your stride. You lose your focus and switch your attention to something completely outside your control. And then you psych yourself out.

Is that person gaining on you? Is their stride stronger than yours? Should you match their movements? Watch their breathing. Are they as tired? Shit. I’m done.

Pretty soon you’re running their race instead of yours. Your stride is what makes you unique. It’s something you develop and what carries you through. When you copy someone else’s blogging style because “it’s made them famous”, you’re copying their stride. When you design your smart phone to look like everyone else’s, you’re copying their stride. When you set yourself up to offer the exact same services as your competitor, you’re copying their stride. That’s not how races are won.

Screw trying to mimic everyone else’s stride and run your race your way, even if it means sometimes you’ll drop the baton at some point. Sometimes you need to in order to rework things and make yourself stronger. That’s how you turn pro. You focus on your race, you better your race and you run like you’re the only one on the track. Because then the only person you’re competing with is yourself.

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