I signed up for the Bass Pro Marathon training group last year with one single goal in mind : To train for a marathon and to do it in a way to keep me from getting injured. What I didn't expect was that the benefits of this group would be beyond just running and finishing a marathon. They were, to put it mildly,much greater, richer and deeper than I ever imagined.
I joined the Springfield MO Galloway training goup last may in 2008. I nervously showed up to run on a warm and humid morning at 6:00am with a lot of apprehension. Besides running with my husband, I had always ran alone and was somewhat of a 'lone runner' and enjoyed my quiet time. So needless to say I thought that I would give it a try and if I didn't like it then I gave myself permission to drop out and continue to run on my own.
So I started my run with the group, and after running with these women for several weeks I found that I was developing relationships. I quickly discovered that I was running with witty, interesting, well-read, creative, compassionate, professional, beautiful and authentic women. While we ran we chatted about the latest books we had read and soon started sharing books, we talked about our children, husbands, work, dogs and lended ears to personal problems. As each one of our feet hit the pavement and sweat dripped from our brows we rhythmically pounded out ideas, solutions, projects and new goals.
My husband has come to understand and appreciate the wholeness that I feel after I have sweated with these women for hours on end on Saturday mornings. He knows it makes me a better wife,mother, employee,nurse and artist. In short,he gladly gives up our precious time together so I can be a better person.
This is the second year that I have ran with this group. We have had new women join and as a result our group becomes even more interesting and rich as these new ladies bring a different and fresh perspective to enrich our lives.
As a group, our ultimate goal is to cross the finish line to obtain the coveted 'Bass Pro Fish Medal' and to proudly display the 26.2 sticker on our Vehicles. But ultimately each one of us will leave the group with an unexpected cohesiveness. One that can only come with striving together for months, sweating and encouraging each other as our runs became longer and more difficult. When we cross that finish line in November there will be a bittersweet sensation. One: of knowing that each one of us has accomplished a life goal and two: it marks the end of our regular group runs at 6:00am until next Spring.
The Bass Pro Marathon will be ran on November 1st at 7:00am. But we will walk away that day, with our medals around our necks,changed forever. For I know that our running group has made each one of us realize and appreciate that some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never,ever the same.
Nov. 2008 Right Before the Bass Pro Marathon
After the Marathon w/the Coveted 'Fish Medal'