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The Toxic Myth of Running: Your Pace Does Not Dictate Your Worth

In the world of running, there's a pervasive myth that the faster you run, the more awesome you are. It's a belief deeply ingrained in the culture of running communities, perpetuated by the constant comparison of race times and the glorification of speed above all else. But let me tell you something: this belief is not only false but also incredibly damaging.

Sure, running is an incredible sport that brings immense physical and mental benefits. But when we tie our self-worth solely to our pace, we strip away the true essence of what running should be about: joy, challenge, and personal growth.

Think about it for a moment. Does your worth as a person truly hinge on how fast you can run a mile or complete a race? Absolutely not. Yet, this toxic mindset prevails, leading many runners to measure their value based on their last race result.

But here's the reality check: your pace does not define you. Your worth as a runner—and as a human being—is not determined by the numbers on a stopwatch or the rankings in a race. It's about the passion you bring to each run, the perseverance you exhibit in the face of challenges, and the sense of fulfillment you derive from simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Furthermore, placing undue pressure on ourselves to constantly perform at our peak can lead to burnout, injury, and a diminished love for the sport. Running should be a source of empowerment, not a source of anxiety and self-doubt.

Let's debunk another misconception: the idea that your last race performance is the ultimate measure of your worth as a runner. Sure, a bad race or run may be disappointing, but it doesn't diminish your value as a person. We all have off days, setbacks, and moments of struggle. That's part of the journey, part of what makes us human.

What truly matters is not the outcome of a single race, but the resilience you demonstrate in bouncing back from adversity, the lessons you learn from setbacks, and the determination you show in continuing to pursue your goals.

So, let's shift the narrative. Let's celebrate every runner, regardless of pace or performance. Let's embrace the diversity of experiences and abilities within the running community. Let's support each other in our journeys, recognizing that we are all on our own paths with unique challenges and victories.

And most importantly, let's remember that your pace does not dictate your worth. You are not defined by how fast you can run, but by the strength of your character, the kindness in your heart, and the courage to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement, no matter what.

So run for the love of it. Run for the joy it brings. Run because it makes you feel alive. And remember, you are enough, just as you are, regardless of your pace.

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2 comentários

This post definitely speaks to me. I’ve been there and came out the other side. I started running for the fun of it. I spent my first 3 years of running cycling through injuries every 6 months or so., but when I was healthy I loved the feeling running gave me. I didn’t care about being competitive (I wasn’t), just having a good time. Over time I got competitive and times took over. I wanted to PR all the time. I got obsessive over bad training runs and bad races. I went through the 5 phases of grief and once I accepted where I was and took the pressure off of trying to be faster and take pride i…

Respondendo a

Running is full of phases! I think many runners are familiar with unhealthy competitiveness. If we run long enough to come out the other side, we can experience a new kind of joy in running. Glad you found your way to joy!

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