Am I a humble runner? And just what does humble mean?

Deb Runs

Humble:  having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance

It took me a while to wrap my head around the difference between humble & modest (next week’s word). A little sleuthing, and it turns out humble refers to your behavior towards others, and modest is your opinion of yourself.

I’ve been lucky, so far, to only run into runners who are supportive and encouraging, no matter their ability or speed. I’ve heard tales of other runners being told they aren’t running if they run over a 10 minute mile – why even bother?

And for the record, I think I ran under a 10 minute mile once in a race & thought I was going to die. And it was only for that first mile. And I don’t think I’ve ever ran a mile that fast since.

So the runner who tells you you aren’t a runner if you run over a 10 minute mile is not a humble person.

The person who treats everyone they meet with kindness, from a homeless person to a person of means, is humble.

Which begs the question: am I humble?

And I think the answer is sometimes I am & sometimes I’m not. I do my best to treat everyone with kindness: thanking volunteers & the police at races; the checkout girl/guy; in short, I try to treat others the way I’d like to be treated.

There are the also times when I point out the things I do “right” to my husband, insinuating that he is not doing it as well – not so humble. Often it’s not my intent to insinuate anything, but I know more often that not it comes across that way.

Am I humble as a runner? I think so. It’s probably easier to be a humble runner when you’re not a very talented runner.

Thanks, Deb, for posting this topic – it’s nice to stretch my brain a little bit.

What does humble mean to you? Do you think you’re a humble runner? Humble person?

22 thoughts on “Am I a humble runner? And just what does humble mean?

  1. I also spent some time trying to figure out the difference between the two (humble and modest)! Being humble always comes back to the golden rule, as you said: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. I definitely try and do that in my everyday life. But every once in awhile it’s easy when you’re having a bad day to just get wrapped up in yourself. Remembering not to take it out on anyone else brings us back to humility.

    And as far as running goes? If you run, you’re a runner. As they say, whether it takes you 6 minutes or 16, a mile is still a mile.


    1. It would be so demoralizing for someone to say why bother to me, because I’m slow. Thankfully, no one has. Because one of the best side benefits of running is confidence. I know it happens to people, tho.


  2. Oh, no! I had enough trouble with humble! Next week we’ve got to do modest??? I like your take on humility very much — it’s one of those things that’s hard to define (and hard to do), but you know it when you see it, right?


  3. After reading your take, I think I missed my mark…I do love that we can all put our own twist on it and I agree it is easier to be humble when your not a great runner like myself. Enjoyed reading your post!


  4. oh..this was helpful- humble refers to your behavior towards others, and modest is your opinion of yourself. I think I am a humble person. i don’t like attention on my self much. I am working on my yearly appraisal for work and having the hardest time giving myself credit for things I have accomplished this year.


  5. Very good point about the difference between modest and humble.
    The heat and humidity have my full respect, I never think I can out do them lol Pace is relative, like weights, some folks just make it look so easy! I am not so talented a runner either, but i try hard 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure I’ve thought of the difference between humble and modest before, but that makes sense. Hopefully I’m a bit of both.


  7. I was humbled by all of the mud when my team ran Ragnar WV, and even more so when a 70’ish-year-old woman ran past me while telling me that I could do it. How was she not slipping and falling like the rest of us? 🙂

    Thanks for linking up!


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