Top

Subscribe via RSS Subscribe to RSS

Subscribe by Email Subscribe by Email

There is Greatness in You

Posted by Filed Under: Inspiration & Motivation

Through my blog, someone recently called me a “great runner”.

ed whitlockIt was an odd thing to happen. On one hand, I was flattered by the kind gesture. But, the other side of me felt uncomfortable being called “great” because I just didn’t believe it. There are many, many great runners and I don’t consider myself a part of their realm. I mean, terry foxTerry Fox was great. Haile Gebrselassie is great. Paula Radcliffe is great. Ed Whitlock is great.

And me? I’m way down the list. I’m not elite. I’m not sub-elite. I’m somewhere between sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-elite and sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-elite.

haileStill, the comment stayed with me. I thought to myself, “Are there things that I can be proud of? Things that are pretty great about my running”?

I let the questions simmer for several months and came up with a little list of what makes me a great runner.

1. I don’t give up: Over the years, I’ve battled against injuries and chronic pain and I’m still running.

rudy.jpg2. Consistency: If you give me a plan, I will follow it. I’m sort of a Rudy of running – I will do the work because I know I don’t have a lot of talent and work is the only way I will improve.

3. Passion: “A Passion for Running” is the name of my blog – the name came to me very quickly. I love running. I absolutely love running. There will be something about running in my epitaph. My passion for running – more than anything – is what makes me a great runner.

paula radcliffeIt’s your turn. What makes you a great runner? And don’t tell me you’re not a great runner because you are. Maybe you’re great because you’ve shed a lot of pounds through running. Or maybe you’re great because you raised money for a good cause through running. Or maybe you’re great because you get out there when others make excuses not to.

Make a list and put it some place where you’ll see it. There are far too many negative places in the world. Let this be a place that helps you understand why you’re not half bad.

Ok, let’s hear ya. What makes you great?

About Mark Iocchelli

Also known as the "Running Blogfather", I'm a 40-something marathoner who has beaten stress fractures and terrible shin splints. Now I'm running double the mileage with no pain - and I'm getting faster. I love to talk about running form and Arthur Lydiard. I also enjoy taking photographs, have a beautiful (and very patient!) wife, and am the proud father of two crazy kids. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the site.



7 Comments
  1. Dawn - Pink Chick on November 26th at 2:28 pm

    Persistence: I’m told someone recently referred to me as “Persistent”. It’s true, cause like you I don’t give up. I’m still a slow poke but I’m also still out there running. By the end of the year I will have logged over 1000k and completed 20 races – 3 Half Marathons, one Marathon and a whole bunch of other shorter races. I don’t give up even when injured I recover and continue. Guess that makes me “not half bad”….lol.

  2. Kim on November 26th at 6:36 pm

    It feels strange to pat myself on the back, but what makes me a great runner is my ability to keep going. I started running on 1/2/07, quit smoking the same day, and then ran a marathon in June. I refuse to give up even on days when giving up seems like the only viable option. I am also a inspiration to people, which makes me feel humble, but also makes me feel like a great runner.

    Truly, though I’m a great runner because I run. Not because I run great, or fast, or even well for that matter. No, it’s great because I get up and do it. No matter what.

  3. Mark Iocchelli on November 26th at 7:59 pm

    Kim, that was a good, well-deserved pat on the back.:)

  4. Lindsey on November 26th at 9:39 pm

    I want to be considered a great runner one day. As a beginner, I guess what makes me a great runner is the commitment I have made and the desire to attain my goals.

  5. Matt on November 27th at 1:15 pm

    Hmm, great idea, but a tough one! As a newbie who still needs to buy their second pair of running shoes, it’s hard to feel ‘great’. But I heard a saying along the lines of “greatness is daring to begin”, and I’m certainly enjoying this beginning.

  6. Jeanne on November 29th at 12:15 pm

    i never ever ever feel that I deserve to be called great. but i am consistent (usually, ha!) And i generally finish what i start.

    so i can claim 1 and 2 on your list. but passion…about running? well, i seem to talk about it endlessly! but the actual running part??? Notice that my blog does not have the word “passion” in the title!
    :)

    great post mark!

  7. Annalisa on December 2nd at 9:36 pm

    hrm. I’ve never even thought about what makes me great, or if I am great at all. But let’s assume I am. Yay, me.

    What makes me great is that I have inspired a few people to start running, and a few more to stick with it. I’ve encouraged others, volunteered at some races, yelled and whooped and clapped at the Boston Marathon until I was hoarse and my hands ached. I’ve tried to find humor in the face of adversity. I remain hopeful, in terms of my own accomplishments, and enthusiastic about the goals of others. I think that’s pretty great.

Bottom