I’ve been running, and loving it as per usual, but I feel compelled to share with you just how much I have been enjoying myself as of late. You see I began running with a friend. And it seems that we just might be sole mates.
I always thought that the perfect running partner was someone whose pace and style were similar to mine, whose preference for music vs. silence, desired distance and long-term goals were all matched with mine… but I think I might just have been wrong.
You see, Jess likes to run with long strong strides, while I prefer a shorter more energy-efficient stride. She likes to soundtrack her running with loud catchy music, while I like the sound of my own feet on the pavement. She likes to listen to her body when it feels like it might be ready to slow her down with a stitch or a cramp, while I prefer to force my body to do exactly what I want and when I want. Jess prefers to dash out into the intersection and beat that yellow light, while I (now extremely stroller-trained) hold back and hover over the pedestrian ‘walk’ button.
While I can’t say that I am not a runner with purpose I can say with assurance that Jess always runs for a purpose – she’s a very intentional person, so it’s just natural that she demonstrate purpose in her running too. Last year it was in honour of her beautiful Mom who beat her cancer diagnosis, yesterday it was for her own sanity, tomorrow it might just be to help me keep mine:)
Despite all of our differences there is an unusual spirit of freedom in our runs. There is freedom to say that one or both of us is bored without the other taking offense. There is the freedom to share thoughts and dreams from hidden places in our souls. There is the freedom to cry tears over hurts and pains that we sometimes keep hidden to protect ourselves, or the ones we love. And there is freedom to tell each other that we can accomplish the very everyday things we are attempting in our lives that can sometimes feel so incredibly monumental. And always, there is the freedom to just run.
Whatever the purpose, the style or the distance I know that I have a friend who will reliably show up on my doorstep on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with a glimmer in her eye and a desire to run.
So here’s to you my beloved friend Jessica, and here’s to the easy way your sneakers dance alongside of mine.