Gratitude and the love that comes with the running community
It’s rainy. Oh, and let’s not forget about that wind. The grass is brown, and there are still snow mounds stained with mud in the pockets where the sun doesn’t shine. Your goal race is just a few weeks away, yet it seems like there are still a million miles between you and the start line.
We all have had these negative thoughts creep into our heads. What seemed possible last week, seems impossible today. When these negative thoughts overcome me, I always think about how grateful I am to have legs that move, shoes to lace up and, most importantly, my “tribe” that is the running community to support me.
Running has the power to bring the good out of people. I’ve never been to a race where someone is booed or heckled. It is because of my tribe that I appreciate even more why I run, why I coach. It comes from those 6 a.m. text messages from an athlete telling me, “I got into the Boston Conservatory! I’m going to college! I’m going to college!” that all of a sudden makes the rain not as relentless. It’s the smile from an athlete, after running her longest and fastest run, that makes my own long run not as daunting and the wind a little more forgiving.
Be thankful for those who make your own training less stressful, and not so much of a burden. The running community is unique in that way. It doesn’t matter what club you are affiliated with, the different runners you run with or how fast you are. I think it is safe to say we are all in it for the love of the run. Running is that simple, and I am thankful for that.
Thomas Paquette is the owner and personal running coach for Next Level Running and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. [originally published in Keene Sentinel 4/18/2018]