Summertime is in full swing which means training, racing, eating, sleeping, and traveling have taken priority (though I love public service and am grateful for my position with Coconino County, running brings me alive in ways that writing grants cannot!). It's already mid-July (how did this happen? it feels like 2015 just started!).
Lately I have been pondering the value of friends. The past six months have been rich.
|Kara, Kristina and I raced as the BROOKS Babes at the 8th Annual Kahtoola Agassiz Uphill|
|I've known Jenny nearly my entire life! Love her!|
|Only lifelong friends will have sock monkey slippers waiting for you on race weekend!|
|John, Paul and Keith are the heart of the dog runs and make fine Beer Mile relay team members|
|They don't make 'em much better than my TransRockies partner Caleb|
It was Caleb who dragged me to the Grand Canyon for six runs this spring, stretching me beyond anything I had ever done there.
|Can you spot my bright pink hat at the very top of the trail?|
|Receiving handmade coral and silver jewelry for my efforts in the 32nd Annual Sacred Mountain Prayer Run|
|Stepping outside my comfort zone|
|36th Annual Narbona Pass Classic|
It is friends I share trails with, even if I rarely see them in daily life. Last week a bunch of us assisted with the inaugural Rob Krar Ultra Camp here in Flagstaff. What a treat to be out in the woods during times when I'm typically in the office, especially with a cadre of volunteers and visitors who not only have a deep respect for our natural surroundings, but for one another.
|Enjoying 12,000' with guests Erica and Line|
|Taking a jaunt around the San Francisco Peaks (thanks Janet, for snapping this photo)|
Running has a way of humbling us. While sponsorships, top finishes, and accolades are amazing and can illuminate the path, the stuff that really stays with us, what actually comprises our path, are the memories we create by showing up each day, particularly with those we admire.
Even when we don't see them (say on a solo run), we know they're out there somewhere, too, energizing their days in vibrant fashion. Plus there's the satisfaction that facing challenges with others brings. It's not easy to leave a snugly bed to be up by 5 am for a run. There are so many times when one doesn't feel like going to the track in the evening, pushing through a workout, or embracing other hard efforts, either. However, when friends are there with you, either physically or in spirit, it's easier somehow...easier to make that coffee, lace up those shoes, and get out there, setting the tone for all kinds of possibilities.
|It's awesome to get there together|
A while back a friend said to me, "These are my people." I've come to realize they're mine, too.