I’ve been thinking for quite some time now how runners, in order to find any semblance of balance, must have an ‘always crew’.
I recently got a text from my girlfriend who was just about to cross a finish line, when her daughter came running out to her on the course. Now, at small races, this is something that can easily happen. In fact, Montana and I had waited at the final turn of Eric’s BayShore marathon the year she was barely two, and he too, ran until Montana couldn’t run any more, and then picked her up to cross the line with him.
I’ve got great pictures of this and immediately asked my girlfriend to send me the snaps from her magical moment. Just like the exhausted, but captured smile for the camera that Eric had, Ali was sporting the same beaming glow.
I wasn’t there personally, but I’d been following her all morning, and went in to church to ‘pray her in’ just as I knew she’d be coming up on her last 10k……I knew I was right on that, sometimes friends just know……hence my thoughts today turning to what I’m calling our ‘forever crew.’ Those who support our most selfish, time consuming, and ridiculously smelly sport.
I try and lift up whenever I can those around me up in prayer when I run, and truth be told, running isn’t always a peaceful experience. The work my mind goes through on most of my runs is astonishing…….sometimes I run with music just to take a break from my own self!
Regardless, runners need each person in our village to ‘crew us’ on almost a daily basis. The constant, self-boasting Facebook and Twitter feeds are proof enough of that. It’s a daily argument that most runners go through in order to just get out of bed to ‘get the run in.’ And sometimes I even laugh at my own self….I mean really, how much fun is anyone having with something you have to ‘get out of the way’?
Quite possibly it’s the ‘crew’ who you’re going to post to, blog to, self-picture-take, or thank for watching your kid while we runners feed our need for the road, trail, or even the whir of the tred.
My ‘crew’ has done it all. I’ve fallen short of goals and they’ve picked me up. I’ve had fruit and drinks handed to me along lonely race routes to keep me going. Fans have magically appeared wearing wings and holding glittering signs that gave me wings in one of the toughest runs I’ve conquered. My sister has text and kept less computer savy fans in the know, which kept me in their prayers. I’ve ran out to friend’s house to refuel with hugs, laughs, and even a shirt change before getting in the back part of the run. And I too, have held the hand of my daughter crossing a finish line after she too had ‘crewed’ by being a sweet little girl who patiently waited for her mama to turn the corner……
I couldn’t take a single stride out my door if it wasn’t for my ‘forever crew!’ All of whom I think know I appreciate them beyond words, but why not be a little more clear. I run so that I can find clarity and purpose in my life. I run so I can make life plans, goals for my daughter, and daily plans to execute in my classroom for my students. I run so that my patience gets refueled, my soul healed, and my lungs cleared of any breathe that isn’t pure and positive.
None of this ‘self-taking-care-of ‘ can ever happen without what I tell my students are our “family and fans” and for my running loves, “my forever crew.” Without you, I’d never cross a finish line. In fact, I’d never even toe a starting line. My life wouldn’t be in balance if I didn’t have the support and help from so many. Because obsessing over training plans, finding care for my daughter, time for friends, my career, and for just ‘being’ is not balance and no race is worth having my life out of balance or for falling short for the people who mean the most.
I find balance most days through running….but other days its wherever my Tulley Toes take me….as long as my crew’s on board!
Groovy Girls Go…….In Gratitude To Those Who Crew