Sure, I like to think that I have experience and know more than the average person about running, but truthfully? I don’t. I’m just as much a beginner as the person who, with the idea to become fit as part of a New Year’s resolution, runs for the first time in their life. Sure, I might know a few fancy words like “fartlek” and “snot rocket” as well as understand the effect of what running 10 miles feels like or lactic acid buildup in my legs, but mostly … I’m just playing along and learning as I go. Running with others who haven’t been running as long as I have reminds me of this. The sheer joy they get at looping through roads and trails they never knew existed or making it up hills they had never dreamed of is exciting to be apart of and brings me back to the days when I was the exact same way.
I got to have a little fun with a beginning runner like this yesterday afternoon. In the cold, raining afternoon (just a normal day in Washington!) we met up for a run together and were also joined by one of my team mates and good friends. Now, you need a little background on this newbie runner if you’re going to completely understand the situation. You know those people who you just can’t help but be jealous over? The ones who seem to be the best at whatever they do and are so nice to everyone, and yet it’s completeley genuine? Yeah, well she’s one of those people. Someone who is such a hard-worker and a good person that while you tremendously like them … you can’t help but be a
little lot jealous of them. And at the same time it’s not quite jealousy. It’s more, like, “Hey, I respect and look up to you for being such an awesome person.” Anyway, she has been running and staying in shape since basketball got over and has been telling me of her frequent runs of 4,6, and even 8 miles. Impressed as I was, and since I think she is a very cool girl that I wouldn’t mind knowing a bit better, the two of us decided to plan a run together. I, the seemingly hardcore distance runner who runs everyday (and really isn’t that hardcore at all), am sometimes looked upon as somewhat of a running mentor by those who don’t run, or at least not very often; and was in charge of picking out a run for us to do.
As a soccer, basketball, and fastpitch player (no ordinary player at that! She made varsity in all 3 sports her freshman year) I knew there was no way we could recruit her to run for us. And yet the fact that we were covered in mud, soaked, and freezing and yet she still was excited and happy about running, was an awesome one. She may still be a little bit of beginner in the world of running, but the words, “I loved it!” that kept coming out of her mouth and, “I definitely want to run together again!” enforced the idea that maybe … just maybe … I had helped hook someone new onto running and the joy that comes with it. Either way, we became closer through winding our way over roots in the woods and I can’t wait to get out there and show her the ropes. After all … one beginning runner to another …. What could possibly go wrong? ;-)
Until next time,