A few short years ago I went to a fourth of July party after running a 10K (6.2 miles) in the scorching summer heat. One of my long time friends at the party told me how crazy I was to run and wondering why I would even want to run that far. To him, there was no reason to be running, especially that far and in that heat. He couldn’t understand.

How do you handle people who don’t understand your running?

Why have you chosen to run?

For better health...for your kids and your family?
To lose weight and live a more active life?
To challenge yourself or change up your workouts?

Whatever your reason or reasons, you choice was a personal choice. So how do you deal with a family member, friend or co-worker who responds to you running with skepticism or mockery?

Running is a love it or hate it type of exercise. For those that don't run, it is often difficult to understand why someone would run. Running takes time and commitment. For those that catch the "running bug" it can become a near obsession. So how do we deal with those that may not share your excitement about your running?

The first thing to do is not to constantly talk about your running. Sure, depending on your goals it can take up much of your free time, but it doesn’t have to take up a spouse’s or friend’s free time too. Share your key goals and milestones with them, but not all the details of your last long run or mile tracking.

If your friends or co-worker’s mock your running it is probably because they assume they have lost your time. Maybe you no longer take lunch breaks at work, running instead. Perhaps you seem to skip those Thursday night’s out for a late run. Invite them along for a run. Let them know hoe much you enjoy your runs and ask them to see what it is like. Just don’t leave them in a trail of dust…be a good friend and run their speed.

Hopefully, most of the sarcasm about your running is only in jest. If it becomes a serious issue, then perhaps you need to think who and how you spend your time with certain people. Most of the time, it will fade as they start to see the benefits you obtain with your running.

Oh by the way…that friend of mine. It took him about a year to see the benefits I achieved with running and he now stands right next to me at the starting line for most of our races.

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