I have written before about my church. For me, it is the place I run with my best running friend. We have been BRFs since Aidan and her youngest were in Kindergarten. I had no idea when we started running together that our running marriage was special. Our running spot has always been Harrison Pond, a small neighborhood near the elementary school our kiddos attended in the younger grades.
We watched this neighborhood go from 3 houses and a ton of lots (housing market crash of 2008) to lots of nice houses on big lots now… and that pond… and park… just a little slice of heaven for me.
She ran with me when I was trying to win local 5K races. I ran with her when her oldest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We have never been the speediest team, but running has always been our therapy.
A few of my favorite running memories –
- the winter when we had a ton of snow and ice and we were stuck at home with small children and no access to our running therapy. The first time we made it out to run, I was so excited that I ran right across a big patch of ice and fell right on my ass. I was so happy to be out running that I just laughed, got up and ran in the muddy grass for the rest of our run.
- the time we tried to train for a half marathon. Whenever we would get to 8 miles, she would get SUPER chatty, which was great because even KRISTAN ran out of things to talk about by then.
- the summer that we waited until 10am to start our run… in July. I was wearing a fancy “sweat proof” running tee that was soaked by mile 2. At one point I was so overheated that I started seeing stars, so my BRF did what all good friends do. She left me sitting on the side of the road and ran the rest of the way to get her car to come and pick me up.
My BRF went back to work full time 3 years ago, which was right around the time that I gave up running because of my back/ankle/old lady issues. But this summer I realized that not only did I miss running with my BRF, but I could do it if I only ran once a week and focus on strength training the rest of the week (oh and I have an amazing chiropractor who can fix me up in 3 sessions if I do, in fact, overdo it).
So we started running together again. Oh, and I hope no one thinks we did not hang out in other ways during our running abstinence. We did and do hang out in other ways. Last year she invited us to her Friendsgiving… one of the BEST Thanksgivings I have ever had. And we also hang out with our husbands (and sometimes they even hang out together solo) and when we both want to hide from the world, we will have a virtual Happy Hour and chat on the phone while enjoying an adult beverage.
But running together was our THING. And, I think I renamed it church this summer as a way to reclaim my connection with religion. I do believe in a higher power, but I have had so many negative experiences with organized religion that have pushed me away from formal church.
So on Sundays these days, I get to go to church with my best running friend. For that, I will be forever grateful.
PS – I have tried to convince Rahul to buy Lot 32 (next to the pond) but it would add 6 more miles to his work commute and our school carpool commute. So for now, I just watch my lot and enjoy it on Sundays.