April Jeppson: I’m not what you’d call a runner — yet

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


As I crawled out of bed this morning — yes, crawled, not jumped out or leaped out, but crawled — I noticed how sore I was everywhere. As I was trying to figure out why my entire body ached, I remembered yesterday I went for a run.

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I don’t fancy myself a runner. I’ve never considered myself a runner. I’m not one of those people that says, “oh, back in high school I ran track.” I ran to first base after hitting the softball. I ran the block to school if I was late. However, I was never a runner.

There are two local races in the upcoming weeks I’ve decided to participate in: Wander the Water and The Fountain Lake 5. When my co-worker was looking for people to do the relay race with her, I could have tuned her out and said, “I’m not a runner.” I mean, come on, I’m not. However, I believe in something called the Growth Mindset. Or the power of “yet.”

I believe in the depths of my soul that just because you are not good at something today, doesn’t mean you can’t practice and become good at it later. I believe the world is full of limitless opportunities to better ourselves if we want to. So by saying, “I’m not a runner,” that actually limits my potential. It says that just because I haven’t been good at running in the past, then I’ll never be good at it. And I don’t believe that’s true.

Try it with me. Think of something you’re not good at. Could be running. Could be folding and putting away laundry in the same day. Could be scoring more than 12 points in Scrabble. Anything. What are you not good at? Now say it.  Here, I’ll go first, “I’m not good at running.” OK — your turn. “I’m not good at ________.” See, that was easy.

We’re not going to stop there. We are going to add one simple word to the end of that sentence, and when we do, it will completely open up our minds. Add “yet” to the end. I know you feel awkward reading the paper and talking out loud to yourself, so I’ll go first again. “I’m not good at running, yet”

OK, no one is looking; the coast is clear. Your turn: “I’m not good at ________ yet.” See what just happened? Instead of making a declaration to the world that we lack a skill set and that’s just the way it’s destined to be, we’ve now stated that just because we might not be the best at something, doesn’t mean we can’t improve. By adding “yet” to the end, we’ve announced to the world, and possibly more importantly to ourselves, that we are willing and able to improve in this area. How awesome is that?

Think about all the lies we’ve told ourselves over the years. I’m not a good cook. I’m not good at gardening. I’m not good at losing weight. I’m just not a morning person. Lies, lies, lies. If you want to be something, go out and be it.

I’m sure I’ve quoted this before, but it’s one of my favorites, so I’m saying it again. “It is never to late to be what you might have been.” — George Elliot

I’m not a runner, yet. Which is possibly why my body aches all over this morning. Or perhaps all seasoned runners have achy bodies in the morning, and this will just be something I need to get used to. Either way, I’m cool with that.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.