May 6th, birthday gratitude entry:
Running has radically changed my world. Running with my Tribe has influenced every part of my being: physically (obvi), but also mentally and emotionally. We are a gathering of individuals with many differences but one core common Truth. We love running.
And what’s better than running? Running together.
We’re a motley crew, fo sho. You can find us laughing, talking, crying, bitching, story-telling, and encouraging each other as we pound the pavement. Whether during training runs or races, we are there for each other. And I mean, all in. There is no one left behind. We truly care for each other and our families. This is a group of Sacred Souls like I’ve never before known. Each one has been influential in my life and *blessed me.
Steve: hilarious memes and more love for his daughter than sand on the beach
Rose: will push you and pull you, but you WILL get to the finish (loudest cheerleader)
Nichelle: priorities of a run as follows: 1. Take photos and have a freaking blast 2. Ya know, run
Chris: hangs with whoever at whatever pace and has this way of making you feel special
Carrie: oh, fast girl with a smart mind, quick wit, and biggest heart around
Collin: sweet and crazy fast and makes it look like he’s having a party!
Atlee: supportive, encouraging, motivating, reliable
Susan: passionate, playful, powerful
Michael: Susan’s main squeeze
Michael: like a kid at Christmas, just so excited for every run
We’ve farted, squatted, changed into and out of bras, pooped, and peed in front of each other. We’ve talked about pooping and peeing, and smelled each others’ BO. We’ve shared body glide, water bottles, and chapstick.
We are a Tribe that does life together. We bear our souls, our heartaches, our triumphs. We hold each other accountable and call out BS. We share secrets which are left between us and the trees and pavement. We dream. We pray. We – well, we get raw, real, authentic. You spend that many hours together, training and driving to the races, you get to know a whole bunch about each other.
We’ve gotten to the end of our mental rope and pushed each other to hold on tight and get to the finish line. Perhaps this is why I love running as much as I do (like, with all my heart!) It’s a great example for how to live life well and to the fullest.
–Everyone has their own pace.
–The goal is to get to the finish line.
I could go on about how the finish line is an exciting place to be at a race and that, should we follow this metaphor all the way, we could view death as something to be celebrated rather than feared, embraced rather than held at arm’s length “for dear life.” And that, at the end of the race, at that finish line, there are more miles to go… that, perhaps, the end of life here on earth is not the end of life. But I digress……..
–Along the way, there are miles and miles to go. Lots to see, plenty of running to do. Conversations to be had. Epiphanies to be realized.
–Last one there gets everyone else’s cheers
Often, we run the same few routes. People ask if I ever get bored with the monotony of the familiar. Nope. Because each run has its particular peeps who show up, and each peep brings a different piece of conversation, every run is unique.
One would think that I would have selected a song about running for our Tribe. But, as you now know, running is the incidental part of our gathering. We do life together. With sneakers, water bottles, and watches. I’m most thankful to my Running Family because each one has opened my eyes and heart to something I may have missed without them.
There’s something truly special about us. Running rocks all. But my RunFam has shared life with me and shown me that life is worth the sweat, mud, BO, blisters, and delayed onset muscle soreness. Besides, among who else would I have found so many different ways to cuss?