Monday, April 15, 2013

For the Love of Running


My life as it relates to running. I never in a million years realized that something that I loathe so completely would change my life in so many ways. Today, after hearing the news at the Boston marathon and worrying about a few friends who are thankfully okay, I just realized how many aspects of my life have changed by this activity and the people involved.

As some of you know, I started running because I was stupid. There is no other explanation for it. My company was sponsoring runners to run the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2007. I thought, hmm. I need something to get motivated by. So I went to the MCM website and tried to see how long the distance was. I was one of those dumb people who thought Marathon just meant race and not a specific distance. Something that many people find highly offensive. I looked everywhere and the only thing I could find that listed a distance was a 10K. I thought, Hmm, I can train for a 10K (6.2 miles) by October. Just 4 or so months away. So I signed up. 2 days later, I found out the true distance of a marathon is 26.2 miles long.

I decided that I could still do it and I went online to research everything I could. I found the online forum and started chatting with a small group of people, about 20 or 25 with some others who commented less often. The next thing you know, I spent all of my spare time talking to these folks. Joking, Laughing, Fighting, Planning Trips, Writing Poetry, and Basically just making Friends. To this day, we are all still in touch. We get together every year for the Marine Corps Marathon and a lot of us travel to other races and hang out throughout the year. We call, we text, we email, we facebook , we gossip, and we visit.  We all talk about each other and everyone’s business. I know that has to be true just from the information I hold in my head alone. We are catty and angry. We are supportive and kind. All in all, we are a FAMILY. We are predictable and we get on each other’s nerves and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
The First Year
 
Not even the full group

This group of friends has brought me so much. We have now seen each other through divorces, sat quietly while one of us battled for her life and lost it, seen members of our group get engaged to each other, lost parents, and celebrated new grandchildren. The amount that we are involved in each others lives is amazing. Hell, I met the Jarhead in that original group and introduced him to my best friend since I was 4. Now they have done the parents meet and greet and are happy as clams.

We wait patiently for updates on how one of our races is going. We use tracking systems and text messages and private online forums to follow each other and post information. Today, as I sat holding my breath reading the check-ins, I was reminded it wasn’t the first time, I sat praying for good news, when someone else would not be so fortunate. I hate living on a planet where someone can throw lives away so carelessly and actually think they are doing justice. Never is the bloodshed of innocent people appropriate. This world sickens me, but I do realize I’m blessed.

I just wanted to say to my Running Family. I may never love running for the sport, but I love it because of what it has brought me.  I love you and I am thankful for you. I wouldn't trade one of you for anything.

Awesome

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