To the outside world, you look perfectly normal. Healthy, in fact. You go to work. Have a social life. Spend time with family and pursue hobbies. But beneath your seemingly normal exterior beats the heart of a runner whose world wouldn’t be the same without the sport you are so passionate about.

Because running has impacted your life, and consequently changed you, there’s an “aura” about you that could frighten and intimidate non-runners. Maybe they sense your power or they can’t figure out why you’re so confident and self-assured! You can’t help being who you are, so don’t try.

Keep being you. The normal people of the world will catch up to you some day, but until then, bask in the glow of knowing that running has changed your life in the most wonderful ways.

Your Runner’s Personality

1. Running has taught you that it’s important to be selective about the company you keep.

Someone who doesn’t take pride in their health and well-being isn’t likely to make it to the top of your friends’ list because you understand that a healthy body and an optimistic attitude go hand-in-hand. Yet, you’re so emotionally strong that you don’t judge people who ignore the importance of exercising and adopting healthy eating habits.

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2. Running has taught you awesome lessons about the value of time.

You became disciplined knowing that a flag-off time isn’t “an estimate”, and that registering late for an event can exclude you from a race.

You also discovered that while a personal best is a terrific accomplishment, a PB doesn’t define you as a person: If you don’t make it this time, there’s always the next race.

Why are “normal” people distressed by your respect for time? Because they see in you the person they wish they could be!

3. Running has taught you that being an angry, bigoted, insensitive person is going to come back to bite you.

This is why you tend to steer clear of negative conversations and gossip that brings people down or disparages them. Refusing to get down in the mud (literally and figuratively) scares people who bolster their own self-confidence by saying awful things about others.

As a runner, you have discovered that people of all faiths, ethnicities and walks of life have the same hopes, dreams and aspirations. That humanity defines you best.

4. Running has taught you that there are personal characteristics about yourself that you didn’t particularly like.

Your deep relationship with the sport of running has inspired you to change. No longer do you come up with lame excuses, fail to listen thoughtfully when others confide in you or engage in attention-seeking behaviours.

You don’t have to because you’re a fully-evolved human being whose actions and deeds stand on their own. Non-runners may not know what to make of you because you don’t play silly mind games.

5. Running has made you fearless.

You’ve fallen and gotten up. You’ve failed to finish at the time you set and didn’t complain. You signed on for a 21 km even though you’ve never before tackled a marathon that long.

Why wouldn’t non-runners feel uncomfortable around someone who never gives up and keeps trying new challenges without expectations?

Being fearless means you don’t let others tell you how to live your life—and that alone can be scary for people who stay only in relationships that they can control.

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6. Running has helped you overcome insecurities.

For people who have known you a long time, this evolution may scare them most of all if they haven’t changed, because your insecurities could be the quality they found most appealing about being in a relationship with you and for some very selfish reasons.

Nobody is immune from insecurities, but you have learned to take control over them so you don’t miss out on the most glorious experiences life has to offer. For people who aren’t emotionally healthy, your behaviour and actions could be downright scary.

7. Running has helped you learn to deal with pressure masterfully.

Especially if you happen to be surrounded by people who deal with stress badly – bosses, colleagues or other professionals. As someone who has learned to handle pressure by pushing through it as if it were a marathon not a sprint, you have morphed into a shining light of rational, stoic behaviour, especially when you run into human walls.

Why? Because you’re in charge of your reactions and push past pressure using the most effective method of all: a long run at a fast clip that dissipates most of that stress. You may even pity those who have no outlet to turn to when pressure builds.

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8. Running has taught you ways to deal with all types of people.

Bosses. Mums. Lovers. Kids. Bring them on; you can handle them because running has made you a better communicator. You’re no longer afraid to speak your mind, yet you’re compassionate, gentle, diplomatic and tactful so you don’t step on the feelings of others, even if they are adversaries.

You know from personal experience how difficult it can be to interact with people who rely on manipulation, backbiting and innuendo to get their way, but you come out ahead because you understand how burdensome it is to be anything other than your authentic self.

9. Running has taught you to live in the moment.

Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. You understand that the past can’t be altered and the future has yet to reveal itself. Being in the moment allows you to be flexible, free and experience satisfaction known only to those who aren’t constantly fretting about what “could happen”, “might happen” or “should happen”.

You understand that if you veer from your commitment to stay in the moment, all you need do is put on your running shoes and break free to outrun the negative feelings that try to assault you. You’ve got that much confidence thanks to your passion for running. How lucky are you?

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How have you changed as a result of becoming a runner? What life lessons have you learned along your journey? Please share with us the changes that have benefited you most in all aspects of your life.

Dr Vicky Lauren

Dr. Vicky Lauran is a certified holistic life coach and nutritionist, she also has 8 years' experience as a power yoga instructor and holds a Ph.D. in exercise, nutrition and health. She has worked with major online publishers like Web MD and Huffington Post and now is a residential contributor at RunSociety. She loves bringing what she knows to the community and hopes to help everyone on the road to happiness.

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