Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 5 Stages of a Runner

Jeff Galloway has written about the 5 stages of a runner. I stumbled upon it in my Kristen Armstrong reading kick (another post on it yet to come).  She wrote the forward of Running - The Sacred Art - Preparing to Practice. In the first chapter, the author, Dr. Warren Kay, summarizes those stages:

  • The Beginner - happens every time you lay off for awhile and when you begin for the first time.  For me, this was way back.
  • The Jogger - you've filled out a race entry form and crossed the finish line. That too was some time ago.
  • The Competitor - marked by an obsession with competition. Most recently 2006, 2007, 2008.
  • The Athlete - for this person running is "a means of personal expression almost like a work of art." When I read this, I had a big ah ha. 2009 was marked by an injury that kept me sidelined for a year changing perhaps forever my relationship to running.  I'm no longer obsessed with competing, but am happy to be able to run, grateful even and I enjoy it.
  • The Runner - blends the best of the other 4 into a whole life approach that includes training, racing and enjoyment.

With this new descriptive ability in hand and mind, I ran this past weekend with no mileage goal or target in mind but just to enjoy being outside, God's creation and running.  A side benefit of this approach is I ran further than I had for some time, felt tremendous joy and took lots of pictures of the beauty I saw along the way. This is a much more pleasant place to be.

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