Sunday, November 13, 2011

Running with friends

I was a rower during undergrad and loved being involved in a team. There was a sense of belonging on this team. The transition to graduate school was difficult because I had no athletic team anymore. Although I continued to run on my own, there was nothing “team” about this. Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy running on my own every once in a while, but this has been replaced by something so much cooler.
After several years of inconsistently running with me, Ben signed up for a race with me in 2009 and has not stopped running since. Having a running partner has been an awesome experience for many reasons. We tend to balance each other out with different strengths. Ben likes to go for shorter, faster runs; I love longer runs and kick in after about a nine mile warm up. Ben is amazing at trail running as he is nimble and quick. I still prefer to run more than he does and will encourage us to run, but he balances us with a desire to rest and be around people. Running has also forced us to work on our communication as we work through our fears, goals, hopes, pains, and good and bad runs.
For a long time, none of our close friends ran much at all. Last year, a good friend of ours decided to run a half marathon and my heart beamed for her. As running has continued to be a big part of our lives, it has been fun to see how reactions of close friends have changed from “You ran how many miles?” to “I want to do a 5k.” Recently, both parties of a close couple we know have decided to increase mileage. It has been fun to be a part of the journey with them as they plan and increase mileage. It has also been a huge blessing to be there during some of their firsts… her first 5k distance, his first 8 mile run and then half marathon. They have also both joined us for different runs, where they help keep us accountable for going and also bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. It has been a joy to be able to run with them and see their growth through life and running.
Several of our other friends have also become increasingly interested in running and it has been a blast to watch them get started as well. Because of this and our desire to build a sense of community, Ben and I have even decided to start a running club as a way to make friends and build community through an activity that is a huge part of our life.
Going through life requires the support of many people. If running can be seen as an analogy for life, why shouldn’t we also run together?

1 comment:

  1. As I read your blog post I could only think of the term - TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More.

    I'd suspect that running with others certainly helps to lead to this end goal where a "win win" occurs for both you and the others you are running with (as in fact you implied in your post)!

    Beyond that, doing anything with others is certainly much more fun than a solo effort! I applaud you and Ben for inviting others in to join you in your passion!

    Here's rooting to continued success in your running endeavors!