The open road. A path to be traveled. A running route.
Running is very special to me. Put aside the aching joints and blistered toes and it's the most liberating activity I've happened upon in a long time. It requires very little in the way of equipment. Some shoes, some warm clothes if it's cold, some water...maybe a sweat rag. Physically you don't need much to go out there in run. But there is something I've realized this week has been critical to my recent success in running....
Lately I've been finding that a lot of my friends are getting into running. And even though we've never said it out loud, I sort of feel like we have a little club going on. A club of support, encouragement, and empathy!
It got me really excited to find out that my friends were running too. It's not just something to talk about when we catch up, but it's something to really support one another in.
What's funny about this concept is that we all actually run by ourselves. A couple of us run in Springfield. One of us runs in RI. The other in NJ. And I know there are more of you out there who are part of this club that I'm not even aware of! We tread by foot as separate entities clearing our heads and strengthening our legs. Each run helping us become more successful for the next. Pushing through the really hard ones. Enjoying the bliss of gliding on air on the good days. Hitting a mark that we never thought was possible. See, running is a solitary sport...Or is it?
Of course we personally have to take care of our own bodies, get enough sleep, eat food that gives us energy and stay hydrated. Mentally we prepare ourselves for a certain mileage so that we can stay focused and get it done. We make schedules for ourselves and follow separate running plans depending on our up coming race. But what truly makes these runs so successful are the people who support us with every step.
My husband A will drive me to a specific starting location and meet me part way to switch out my water bottles even if it means sacrificing the better part of his Saturday morning to follow me around Springfield. I always text J and B before a big run and then again when I finish to let them know how it went. They always let me know when they have a big impending run so I can help them get them excited and mentally prepared.
J just ran her fist 5 miles last week in preparation for her first 10k and B just ran her first 10 miles in preparation for her first half marathon! L just recently ran her first 12 miles just because she wanted to get out there and do it. What accomplishments! Even though we all have different races and different goals, I can't help but think this is truly a team effort. It certainly wouldn't be as much fun without each other's help and encouragement!
As usual running proves itself to be a good example of other life lessons. Is there ever a time in our lives where we are acting completely alone?
We always have what is in our heart driving us. And even though it's rare that I get to spend time with my friends that are our of state, they are constantly driving me and keeping me motivated even when I'm not talking directly to them! No matter how solitary the task at hand may be, it's what's in our heart, the people, the friends, our spirit that helps us feel so accomplished and proud of our efforts.
J let me know the other day that while she was running she felt like I was there with her. When she told me what she had accomplished, I felt so moved by it. I was telling my husband what she had done and the pride I had for her was overwhelming. It really was like I was there with her.
We need support from one another even when we're physically tackling the task alone. Training for my race would have been miserable if I had no one to report back to about my weekly accomplishments. And even though on race day my teammates won't physically be running next to me cheering me on, I know that I am taking all those people with me on the journey.
I think that's why we can thrive even when we're away from the people we love and care about. Because we find ways to connect and support each other. Even if it's just channeling their positivity and knowing it in your heart. That makes life feel very fulfilling.
So this is dedicated to all my runners out there. Just know that I'm so so proud of you and so excited that we're all on this journey together.
BPositive and B A Team!