Organic Runner Mom

I am a runner. Finding my identity.

I am a runner. Finding my identity.
I am a runner. Finding my identity.

I wasn’t always a runner.

Most people think that I ran in high school but I didn’t.

My school didn’t actually have a cross country or track team when I was there. The running that I did was minimal, to stay in shape for field hockey, basketball, and rowing. Running in college was also a means to stay fit for Crew. When we were not on the water in the the winter we spent the majority of our time running, lifting and erging (using the rowing machines). I loved going out for our runs but would only run at practice.

Running found me after college. I was in the first year of teaching first grade in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I was highly stressed. The school where I taught had a highly transient population of students and there were a high amount of behavioral problems in each classroom. I would come home every day feeling drained and overwhelmed. How was I supposed to teach when I felt like I could hardly manage my classroom. I was no longer rowing which left me feeling somewhat lost. I had depended on rowing to help me maintain focus through goal setting. It had helped me to relieve stress. On the water in the boat was where I felt the most alive and most like myself. I needed to find some outlet for what was going on every day, some way to release.

Then I met Bridget and Joanna, two other teachers. They invited me to join them on the Kingdom Trails in Burke, Vermont to go trail running. The Kingdom Trails are a vast network of trails in the gorgeous Northeast Kingdom of Vermont that are primarily used for mountain biking but ripe for trail running. Miles and miles of single track leading through the woods with scenic vistas, and trails leading up on the mountain to challenge your legs. I had never run in such a spectacular place before. I didn’t know that I place like that existed. I joined them and a group called the Kingdom Krazies for runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday mornings for long runs. We would run in a line down the trail and also talk along the way about anything and everything. We also started running races together. These people became my community, my friends.

Slowly but surely I began to find myself again. Running became my group therapy. It became my church. There was something about being out on those trails that was just magical and I found that I could run my stress away. The more I ran the better I felt both physically and mentally. So it was on those trails where I discovered my happy place. When I stopped rowing I felt like my identity was misplaced but now I had found a new one.


Do you call yourself a runner? When did you first think of yourself as a runner and why?

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7 responses

7 responses

  1. Having not run in school (or been very athletic in general), I didn’t start running until after college. Even then, it was a random 5K (which I didn’t train for), so there was always a lot of walking involved. It wasn’t until I got serious about running (3 times/week), and actually trained for a race that I felt like a runner. I don’t think I called myself a “runner,” though until I’d completed an actual long race (20K)…that’s when I finally felt legit LOL

  2. I found running when I was 30, although I did dabble in track for one year in high school. I guess I should say that I fell in love with running later in life.

    Sometimes I still don’t think of myself as a runner. I don’t know why I still think that way sometimes.
    Kim G recently posted…2019 Chicago Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

  3. I discovered my love for running when I joined my high school cross country team. I wasn’t a great runner but I loved the camaraderie. Happy to have still call myself a runner today although I’m not running as much as I should! Taking a break and focusing more on strength training and yoga.

  4. I did not run until last year although have been into different sports in school…I started running last year..Am I a runner? I doubt it…but I truly love it now…

  5. I HATED running (I was even on the track & field team) in jr high and high school.
    When I was no longer able to play sports after surgery in college, I took up running. At first it was an unhealthy obsession, but it them became my therapy!
    Right now I am don’t call myself a runner as I am on a break while I let some injuries heal, but I plan to get back in the runner pack one day! 🙂

  6. Mine’s a bit of a sad story. I started running at university. The hockey team I played for decided we’d all run the local half marathon to raise money for charity on behalf of a teammate who died in a car accident. I’d never run more than a mile before then.
    Chris Tiley recently posted…Ski MojoMy Profile

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