As I’ve been sharing with you in my blog posts, my life has been "In Transition." Last month, I shared that I’m now "on the other side" of the tunnel and staring up a steep mountain. Well this month, I’ve begun my ascent, and I'm realizing it's a bit lonely.
If you’ve ever run with someone else (not neck and neck, but in stride with), your huffs-and-puffs are drowned out with chatter—gabbing about everything from spilled milk to sleepless nights and the worries that come with keeping our human beings alive. I have shared many a mile with great friends—some old, some new. And I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the AMR Run + Refresh Retreat where women from all corners of North America met for the first time, shared a race day, and left after just one weekend friends for life, miles in-between be damned.
These days, though, back at home, my breath echoes in my ears and my worries buttress up in my brain like it’s their job to stay dormant. (If only that worked, right?)
These days, I watch on Facebook and Instagram as my Sole Sisters hit the trails and share miles of laughter (or tears) together. And I feel lost. I am running solo now—not pushing a stroller with one hand while my other is guiding my other daughter on her bicycle.
Bright side: I graduated! I made it through the Stroller Mama phase! Now every run is a Freedom Run! Bummer side: I’ve also moved away and now I’m running alone—without a Best Running Friend to laugh the miles and the worries away with. End of the world? No. We all run alone—sometimes by necessity, sometimes by preference. And the truth is, we all have to run our miles solo—it’s our own two feet that have to carry our bodies down the road, one mile at a time. And it’s our own singular willpower that drives us up out of bed before dawn or down into the basement in the pre-midnight hours to train.
So if running solo is something we do anyway, why the fuss? Why the longing for a buddy?
Because…it takes a village. It really does. Community makes the hard things seem less hard—even for a few moments. And it keeps us moving through the hard – running farther in a morning run than we’d have given ourselves credit for or challenged ourselves to do.
Because...it keeps us honest – with ourselves and each other. We can’t skip too many of our individual training runs if we expect to be able to keep up on the group run. And we can’t just not show up, because there will be someone there who noticed. I repeat: There will be someone who noticed—who was waiting there for us and who was counting on our chatter. Someone there to care – and to share in carrying the weight of both our worlds. Even if for just the first 3 miles of our day.
And because…there's nothing like Another Mother Runner. Though we might have spouses or co-workers who can offer insight into the daily musings and meanderings of our hearts-at-rest, there really is no one more equipped to carry our hearts-at-work than another woman whose heart is also at work – another Mother Runner.
And as if you need more convincing—or proof: There is absolutely nothing sweeter (in this running life of ours) than sharing in the cold, rainy, hilly, hard, ruthless, or warm, sunny, scenic, glorious training miles and then crossing the FINISH line—all smiles—together.
If you’re looking for a BRF: reach out! Entries could appear as such:
Single Mother Runner (SMR) looking for BRF (Best Running Friend) in the Spokane area. Must love after-run coffees or margaritas (etc!), have B+ map reading/trail guiding skills (mine are a solid C) and a penchant for gabbing non-stop (I’m in the huff-and-puff stage), and enjoys running after dawn (though I’d be willing to convert) and at a routinely happy pace (not necessarily fast).
Now it’s your turn: Tell us about your BRF (or BRF-search requirements) below!