We’re cooling down from an 8-mile run to the bayfront. There are about 10 of us — women of all ages, sizes, abilities, and backgrounds. We’re stretching, sipping bottles of water, and chatting, enjoying the post-run glow and the grapes and walnuts that Eloise packed for everyone ((in individual baggies, no less…she spoils us!).
Some of the women, like me, have been running for many years, but most of the women there have just started running or are getting back into it. For several of the women, the 8-mile run we just finished is the farthest they have ever run.
They say they never thought they could run that far. Never thought they would. But, then they started working out. And they got to know these other women. And the next thing you know, and they’re trotting down the Bayfront Connector with 10 friends on a 8 mile (EIGHT MILE!) run and it’s actually fun (FUN!). And the miles flew by. Who knew?
I did, and I’m so glad they’re discovering it.
“I think the coolest thing about starting to workout and run is that I met all these friends,” Jen said. “It’s so awesome to have friends again.”
I smile and think about how fifteen years ago, I started running to lose weight. Today, I run for (and because of) my friends. I couldn’t imagine my life without them in it. I couldn’t imagine not having this outlet to whine, bitch, sweat and bond.
Adult women can end up being very lonely, which is ironic because our lives are so full …so very, very (at times, overwhelmingly) full — careers, kids, housework, soccer practice, scrapbooking, family obligations. Friendships fall to the bottom of the to-do list and, eventually, dissolve. One day you realize that you miss your girlfriends, and it’s hard to make friends at 40. Few women have time to hang out anymore.
But running gives you that time. An hour here. Two hours there. To talk. To learn. To share. To grow. To feel not so alone in this world. To feed your soul and finally….finally…do something for yourself, for once.
Next thing you know, you’re not just running friends, but real friends who invite each other over for bonfires and go to concerts and meet up at the beach with the kids.
That’s how running is, though. It starts small and ends up taking your entire life, making everything better along the way.
About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”