I don't remember when, but about a year ago, I wrote a post about a goal becoming an obsession. At the time it was my Sub 3 goal (which I still have, only far less obsessed). This past track season I became obsessed with getting the track fix and obsessed with my team and their success, or lack of. It was a goal I made in 2009 and I just couldn't let go of it. Lots and lots of things didn't go our way this year. I asked myself the question, "Is this really worth it?" probably a dozen times. The obstacles this year seemed too great, even more so than I shared on this blog. Sometimes in my moments of weakness, tears would be shed, and I would ask myself that question. Then came Adrienne Langelier and The Woodlands Running Club and my answer became YES.
A few times in my life, I've been lucky enough to run across someone where an instant friendship is built. Kind of like finding a long-lost twin, but less dramatic. That's how I feel about Adrienne. And these feelings were validated one million times this past weekend.
See, I met Adrienne last year at RnR Seattle and we hit off right away. After that, we kept in touch through emails, blogs, FB, and phone. I was struck by surprise when she mentioned a "project" she wanted to do for my team. She rallied The Woodlands Running Club to plan a 12 hour running event, including an ultra run and mile races throughout the day. The money raised that day will more than help us "take off" after our track is fixed. More important than the money (shocking, there actually IS something more important) was that my reasons for running and coaching became crystal clear again. Lessons learned from Adrienne Langelier and The Woodlands Running Club:
1) Runners appear to run for themselves, but it's often because they are humble about their generosity.
2) By learning about each other's goals, struggles, and accomplishments, we can become more inspired.
3) Running is not just running; it is usually about something bigger- overcoming a fear, gaining self-worth, finding a "place" in this crazy world.
4) I am not alone in my passion for this sport. There are people out there that love running as much or more than I do. When I feel alone in Mayberry, and when people question my sanity, I know that there are others like me.
5) Never quit on your dreams. I've known this all along, but at times we grow weary or lose focus. Sometimes you do just "need a little help from your friends."
I know this post seems mumbled and random, but that's kind of how I feel. Adrienne described it feeling like a post-marathon PR depression, and that's right! All you marathoners know what that feels like! Mostly I am just at a loss for words.
A group of strangers reached out to help my team and me. Those strangers are not strangers anymore; they are friends. My team and I are grateful beyond words. The only thing sweeter than the way I feel right now will be when we host our first track meet since 2003.
I hope someday I can give back to the friends that have helped us. For now, I will continue to work hard to build a successful track program, inspire young athletes, and lead high schoolers to be their absolute best.
Adrienne and I did a "jersey exchange."
Adrienne's write-up about the event, a lot clearer than mine! Check out her blog here.