I know this blog didn't get going well the first time around, and that's totally my fault. I let the petty grumblings of someone I considered a friend and my own insecurities stop me from doing this, from documenting the work and EPIC FUN to be had when one decides to become a runner, but I'm here now to fix that and hopefully encourage someone else to make the brave decision to do something good for their body and soul.
"Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too." - Richard O'Brien
Community is truly at the heart of Memphis Running. I know that probably sounds strange and ten years ago, when I was living in a tiny Mississippi town and walking a four mile asphalt path alone every evening, I never would've thought that anything related to fitness could be so fun and rewarding. I learned this very quickly when I joined Women Run Walk Memphis in 2015 as a beginner runner.
I'm reminded of that when I go to the fridge to check out my Breakaway Running (a local shop that is so incredibly supportive of the community) calendar and strap my shoes on for my scheduled miles. I'm reminded of that when a friend on Facebook says "going out for five miles, who wants to join me?" or I get a text that says, "can we run tonight?" I'm reminded of that when I'm struggling to get up that last hill and a stranger pats me on the shoulder, tells me "you've got this," and chases my ass all the way to the finish line. Exercising, jogging... those are chores we do to keep us healthy. Running is a way of life. Running is community. And I can't even believe I'm saying this because three years ago I would've rather had all my teeth pulled... but running is fun.
My new adventure in running is to complete the St. Jude Full Marathon. (Click on the picture to your right to donate. Pretty please!) I've never done a full marathon before and frankly, I'm a little freaked out, but I'm going to trust the process and follow the training plan. I'm going to listen to my coach, and I'll remember the advice of a friend... not a single mile you run will be half as hard as what those kids have to go through. Gah. I got chills just thinking about that. So here's to a new goal and a new start (though I'm already 21 days into the training.)
I would like to leave you all with this video, care of Rob Hunter and the Memphis Runners Track Club. I'll admit I was moved to tears when the Women Run Walk and MRTC Kids came up. I volunteer for both those programs every year, and this video made me super stinking proud of the work we do. This video made me fall in love with running all over again!