“I’m a runner.” Those are words that I dread hearing. Those are words that make me want to cry and hobble away as fast and as far as I can. When I first meet you and in the first conversation we have the words “I’m a runner” come out, I want cut off the relationship right there. You see, I am friends with runners. You are so into running that you post on facebook every time you start running and and when you finish and every detail of your amazing run. Every…single…time. Sometimes you even run twice in one day for an extra dose of awesome. You also like to talk about running in person, a lot. You usually don’t have much else to talk about because your main focus is running for three hours a day. You constantly talk about your goals and how everyone can do it! You like to say if you don’t try it’s just because you’re lazy, you should be a runner too! That’s right, did you know if you just try hard enough you too can run a marathon?
That’s able bodied privilege.
If you can physically get out of bed in the morning, that’s a privilege
If you can put on your socks and running shoes, that’s a privilege.
If you can tie your running shoes, that’s a privilege.
If you physically went to the store to buy your running shoes, that’s a privilege.
If you can walk outside your front door, that’s a privilege.
If you can walk, that’s a privilege.
If you are physically capable of running, that’s a privilege
If running makes you sore but not so much that you spend the next week in bed, that’s a privilege.
If you don’t collapse after a few seconds of running, that’s a privilege.
That’s right, it is a privilege to have a body that is capable of running. You may think that you in your awesomeness did this all through hard work, but the truth is it was a combination of hard work, genetics, and good luck. I won’t ever run a marathon and yet I put just as much effort into training my body as you do. Instead of spending time carefully crafting my workout routine so I can get a better time, I’m finding ways to stretch out the newest part of my body that started hurting. Instead of obsessing over my Fitbit I’m trying to do what I can to get through the day without pain medication. I can’t be a runner, no matter how hard I try.
Don’t mistake me, there is nothing wrong with being a runner. Running is a really great thing and I’m glad that you enjoy it so much. I even want to celebrate your successes with you. despite how much it may pain me. I will be there every time at the end of the race to cheer you on, but please stop posting obnoxious inspirational memes about how “anybody can do it” or ” only strong people run” or “non runners are only making excuses.” Bullshit. Look around you and use your brain. Appreciate the body you have and take care of it through running or any other way, but remember that you aren’t better than everyone else because you have a working pair of legs.