Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't like the word "beginner"

Yesterday marked the goal race of my beginners group. They started back in March, trained for a long 10 weeks, and finished their first 5K yesterday. I call the program "beginner" because I've designed it for people who have either never run before or haven't run in a very long time. But I feel that the word "beginner" some how sells these people short.

I just feel that the word "beginner" just has a negative connotation. That beginners essentially don't know what they're doing and are not as important as "real runners" (see my post below for my thoughts on that). That is just wrong. My group was pretty large this go around. And sure there were people that dropped out for various reasons. But for the most part everyone stuck to it and reached their goal. They were eager to learn and try things out. In fact, they are probably more open minded than more expierenced runners.

For me it's not even about them completing the 5K, though that is wonderful. It's watching them come into their own as runners. They become more confident, happier, excited about our runs together. It's really amazing. A number of them have caught the bug and are planning their next races. And I know this newly found confidence is affecting their lives outside of running.

So I told my group yesterday after the race, through tears of joy, that they aren't beginners but rather, they are just beginning their journey. There is so much ahead for them, in life both inside and outside of running. Especially for those of the group that seriously doubted whether they could complete the distance. They now know they can do anything they want to and fear shouldn't hold them back.

Here's to those of us beginning our journies into something new. Don't let fear and self-doubt hold you back. Anything is possible if you just try.

Happy running!