"But I can't run as far as you" is a statement that is made to me a lot when I speak to non-runners about running. Sometimes it's made to find a way to relate to the conversation, sometimes it's made because they feel like I'm judging them for not doing what I do (I'm not) and sometimes it's made because the person feels that because there are these standards that they are deeming as impossible, that means that they could never even attempt to start running in the first place. It's this last reason that I am writing today.
You can. You can do what seems impossible if you really want it, work hard and believe in yourself. Most of all, you don't need to. You don't need to run long distances in order to be a runner. If you want to be able to run a 5k, that's an amazing goal to work toward. If you want to just be able to run a mile around your neighborhood, that's an amazing goal to work toward. Your goals are not determined by what other people can do. Your goals are determined by you, what you want and what drives you. Do not let what other people accomplish keep you from even starting. There was a time 3 years ago where I couldn't even run 15 minutes, then I finished two marathons. There was a time just over a year ago where I couldn't even fathom running mountains, and now I'm racing ultras and adventuring mountains all the time. The point isn't to look at the impossible and give up. The point is to dream what you want to be possible, and work toward that every day. You don't have to want to end up running ultras or mountains, it is not for everyone. No one out there doing those things is doing them because they feel like that's what they have to do in order to prove themselves as a runner. They are doing it because that's what makes them happy, that's what drives them and that's what gets them out the door. Find what gets you out the door.
There are athletes out there that are doing things that seem pretty impossible for me to obtain. What I've learned in this sport though is that nothing is impossible. What makes things impossible is you thinking that they are and therefore never trying. It's pretty impossible to achieve something if you are not even trying. What that also seems to mean is that if you are not trying then you are not failing…false. If you are giving up on any dream because of fear of failure, you are already failing.
Don't put limitations on yourself and you'll find that the impossible is actually quite possible.