Obsessive runner?


While having a conversation with my childhood best friend yesterday, she actually referred to me as “one of those obsessive runners” placing me in the category of women she works with who get upset if they miss a run and constantly talk about running.

Hmmm… am I an obsessive runner?  Maybe.  But let’s put that in context.

How does having a healthy activity that consumes a minimum of 5 hours of week, brings joy (most of the time) and allows one to work out issues in sneakers rather than a therapist’s office constitute being obsessive?  How does tracking workouts, monitoring food, losing weight and bettering confidence constitute being obsessive?  What about getting up early in the morning, eating a healthy breakfast and meeting with friends to run a 5K (or 10K, half marathon, ultra, etc.) constitutes obsessive?

These all sound like good activities to me!  She meant no harm by the comment, but it got me thinking…

– Some people are obsessive about their kids.  I don’t have kids.

– Some people are obsessive about clothes.  I don’t have many of those.

– Some people are obsessive about cars/trucks.  Yeah, not so much.

– Some people are obsessive about video games.  Definitely not.

– Some people are obsessive about horses.  Yup, used to be in that category.

Bottom line?  I think to make a blanket statement about “obsessing” is rude.  Just saying.

I’m not on anti-depressants.  I am no longer 17 pounds overweight.  I have achieved personal goals I never thought possible.  I have made some amazing friends.  It is fair to say I am in the best shape I have been in EVER, and that includes the time when I was working horses and mucking 22 stalls a day.  Running is my version of having kids.

It’s a personal choice.  It’s a lifestyle.

Obsessive?  I disagree.  Happy?  Yes!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nicklemary
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 16:49:15

    It’s certainly a negative word…or we have negative connotations surrounding it…but at what degree are you excessive about it? I don’t think you’re anxious about running, or neurotic, and to me, that’s what consists of an obsession. You’re serious about being the best you can be at something. It’s wonderful to have goals and something to strive for, and if it’s a bit consuming, all the better. It’s your “thing”, and it’s good for you, to a certain degree. What degree you’re comfortable with, is the correct amount of obsession. If it starts to effect your life in a negative way, then you might want to take a closer look, but it sounds like it’s only bringing positive changes. Run On.


  2. msmidt
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 18:52:05

    I think there are healthy obsessions and not-so-healthy obsessions. It depends on one’s point of view. This is a healthy obsession. It’s kind of like George Carlin’s riff on “stuff.” If you don’t know the reference, Youtube it. Hilarious.


  3. Mind Margins/Run Nature
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 17:22:34

    I had a non-running friend say to me once, when mentioning something about running, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE people now.” Like running is a bad thing. I think people who don’t run only see how running becomes such a big part of our lives and equates that with “obsession.”


  4. Andrea
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 16:06:03

    I’ve actually had a few friends that I’ve known for years stop talking to me because of my so-called “obsession” with running. It’s hard not to talk about it when someone asks why you didn’t return their text right away and I explain it’s because I was out for a run and I don’t answer my phone during that time unless it’s my kids. It’s helped me realize though how many negative influences I had in my life and how they were holding me back. I think certain kinds of change make people uncomfortable, especially if they have their own insecurities they are dealing with.


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