March 27th, birthday gratitude entry:
It’s like it’s Christmas day… and you’re completely surrounded by wrapped gifts for as far as the eye can see. Every single one of these magnificent presents is yours for the opening. And, given the multitude of boxes, it’s gonna take you awhile.
Heart-beating like cray… you begin. You pull one box towards you and start to scratch the paper off. Best. Day. Ever.
This is how it is for me and my Sole Sister and Bestie, Rose. I am completely surrounded by gobs and gobs of memories, stories that I could rip open and share with you. Oh, the ways that I completely dig her vibe… but, alas, we don’t have all Christmas day.
So I’ll keep it as brief as I can. And this won’t be easy. Not in the fuckety-fuck least.
We met through my son, Adam, who was taking her English class. Training for my first marathon, I was writing a blog about it and he suggested Rose connect with me. He thought perhaps we’d have something in common, both digging reading, writing, and running.
He was right. We’re both reading-writing-running whores.
We got along immediately. My first marathon, she refused to leave my side until I absolutely insisted. (I believe she snagged a PR that day.) I have zero doubt that she would have gladly shrugged off that personal record had I needed her to help me across the finish line. My husband had shown up by then, having run the half, and I begged then pushed Rose to go on ahead. She did. As I crossed the finish line, I heard her voice above all the others.
She’s loud that way.
We’ve run thousands of miles together. We’ve laughed til our face cheeks hurt, run til our ass cheeks hurt. We’ve hobbled (well, that’s mostly me) and sprinted (aaaand that’s mostly her.) I remember running almost an entire half marathon with my eyes closed, my hand squeezing Rose’s shoulder. My ankle was barking and Rose became my sight and chief encourager. We crossed the finish line together. A team. She refused to leave me.
She’s amazing that way.
And encouraging af.
Foul-mouthed. (This happens to be one of her best assets imho.)
Honest. You will not find anyone more honest. Even if it hurts your feelings, she will speak the truth. Understanding its healing power, she desires that you would be living in your highest grooviest vibe. Her integrity holds up over time and through circumstances and with all people. I so appreciate her safe space. No pretense. No put-ons. Just real ducking raw deal.
She’s reliable that way.
Indeed, she’s passionate. As an INTJ and an Enneagram 8, this girl is ALL fucking IN. You just won’t find anything halfway about her. She’s powerful, demanding (of herself mostly), and deeply concerned with all in her tribe. She will go to bat for you… and by this I mean, she may take a bat to someone on your behalf… hahahaha, not really. But, you do not want to fuck with one of her tribe peeps. She’s a protective mama bear. We’re in safe space with her on the prowl.
Or on the run, as the case usually is.
Yes, miles and miles and miiiiiiiiiles on the road together, one foot in front of the other. If there’s a topic we haven’t discussed, I sure as hell don’t know what it is. We’ve covered everything from parenting (she adores her two boys) to marriage (ditto Jay) to teaching (loves it), changing hormones (this sucks big donkey balls) , expanding waistlines (more donkey junk), and delicious thighs (Rose helped me see my muscles with new eyes, coming out of a loathing to an appreciation of and for them.) She holds space for me to imagine myself as beautiful.
She’s lovely like that.
And herself, beautiful.
One time, we were a couple of loops into an ultra and I thought she’d forgotten to pin on her race tag (meaning her mileage wouldn’t count.)
Me: distressed, whining: “Ooooh Roooooose…”
Me: still distressed, still whining: “Ooooooh, I’m so sorry….”
Her: looking down at her shirt, “Da fuck, is my boob bleeding?”
Me: “Ooooh, Rose. You forgot your bi-i-i-i-i-i-b!”
Her: hahahahahaaaaaaaa (lifting sweatshirt, showing me race tag)
Us today: “Oooooh Roooooose…” and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA
She’s my tampon-carrier. And anything else I might forget. Which I usually do, since I don’t pack til a few minutes before we’re leaving.
She’s super organized that way.
One of our first ultras was cray cray cold cold. It was two loops at 15.5 miles each. Finishing the first loop ahead of her — which, I assure you was unusual — and because this was a timed race, I wasn’t sure whether to wait for her or get started on the second loop. I hesitated as to how to proceed. Jay offered, “What would Rose want you to do?” I headed back out. She’d want me to chew that second loop’s ass the hell right up. When I crossed the finish line, there she was. Loudest cheerleader.
She’s badass that way.
Okay, maybe not so gentle all the time.
But kind, no mistake about it. Kind!
When others triumph, this is like AIR to her. She breathes deeply of their victory, inhales it like a doob. Blowing the smoke out with a grin and half-open eyes, she gets high on seeing others realize their potential. Kickass is her fave flavor.
She loves candy.
I love our deep, existential-angsty convos. She permits me to be completely me. And I’m a weirdo. Like, unicorn-seeing, rainbow-hopping, fairy-friending goof. More than allowing me to unpack my unique ol’ self, she values my perspective. I feel held in a holy manner when I share my ideas with her. Not only held, but high and lifted up. She makes me feel valuable, treasured.
She’s wise like that.
And humble enough to remain open to continued learning.
I remember telling her during one of our first runs together that I want to live to the age of 120. She responded, “I’m 11 years younger than you… the idea of living without you… girl, you better starting believing for 131!”
We’ve got super loops, lake loops, Fredonia loop, Maxine, and BOAH. We’ve got our fave races (RBTS, Chautauqua Ultra, 47-hour, Laurel) and our more challenging ones (Buff, Erie, any during the summer heat.) All of our runs are our bitches…
I remember our race in Bible country, Arkansas. At the top of the hill, she turned around and mimed a spanking motion. Encouraging those of us still climbing, she shouted, “Spank that bitch! Climb on her ass and show her who’s boss!” True story.
I just cannot make up this shit. She’s freakin’ hilarious.
She’s my Person.
Me: “Come quickly. Bring shovel and rope.”
Her: “Be right there. Packing extra duct tape.”
I’ve often wondered if she and I have known each other in other lifetimes. It’s THAT kinda vibe between us. We can go seasons of time with little conversation, but never do I wonder whether she would be there for me. Or I for her.
She’s my Sole Sister.
She’s my sole sistah.
She’s my Bestie.
She’s my BFF.
Our song, of course, is Best Friend. The words could have been written with us in mind. We will always be besties, and always be runners. We will always swear like fucking sailors (“fuck” is a release valve!) We will always laugh about whores and bitches and be excited about new races and the same old ones too. We will always lean on each other when our kids confound and astound us. We will always encourage each other to live life with great anticipation and open hearts. And I have absolutely not one doubt that if ever I were to need to close my eyes and squeeze her shoulder, there she would be. Extra duct tape and all.
Rose, I furking lurve yer ser merch.
You. Complete. Me.
With love & hope,