Most of us, especially women, go through periods of feeling like imposters. So-called imposter syndrome is that nagging feeling that everyone is going to wake up some day and realize that you aren’t really competent at all, that somehow you’ve been faking it all along. Nothing brings on my imposter syndrome quite like my new-found title as a Runner.
I know that I’m a relatively inconsistent and slow runner. While I have finished 5 Half Marathons and one Full Marathon, I probably haven’t lived up to my potential in terms of speed. I’m not someone who spent my whole life as a couch potato and then decided to run. I was a life-long competitive athlete (gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, diving, etc.) who took a hiatus during medical training and child-bearing. As a beloved family member said to me recently, “It’s not that your slow. It’s that you should be capable of running faster.”
As many of you know we were recently hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. We lost power at 5:30pm on Monday, October 29th and have yet to re-gain power. So last weekend we made the decision to go away to a family all-inclusive resort about 90 minutes away. As a kindness to my also powerless mother-in-law, we invited her to join us. With many homes around us also in the dark, we were lucky to get the last available room. Which meant all 6 of us in one room (2 Queen-sized beds, a bunk bed, and a cot – it was cozy!). Friday night before going to bed (I had the bottom bunk – don’t ask!), I laid out my running clothes and set my alarm for 6am.
I’m so used to doing this every weekend that I don’t even think of it as something extraordinary. One child has 9am Hebrew School on Saturday and another at 9am on Sunday. While my husband happily does the chauffeuring, I need to be home by 8:30am on a regular weekend so the other 2 kids don’t have to go along. (Tom sometimes attends adult learning at synagogue during Hebrew School or heads to the hospital to see patients.).
On our weekend getaway I knew breakfast started at 8am and my kids are early risers so my goal was to get back from running by then. I got some maps from the front desk which I studied on Friday night and knew I had everything ready for my morning run.
My mother-in-law was shocked that I was running despite being away and the stress of a Hurricane. One of my boys just shrugged his shoulders and told her, “Mommy does this all the time.” And that’s when it struck me…
One of the things that makes me a “real” runners is that my children – even the 4 year old – see me as a runner. My youngest is an early riser and will often wake up to see me getting dressed to run or coming home from an early run. He often asks if I’m going for a run (or would I please NOT go for a run so I can hang out with him). Part of our family culture is having me as a runner. So maybe I’m not an imposter after all?