From the President’s Desk

by Michelle Hirschl

Well to say it was one heck of a year last year would be an understatement! We all missed out on so much. As runners we are the lucky ones. Yes our important races were cancelled or run virtually but we still found ways to be out there together. We held each other up and gave a helping hand when needed.

On a recent Friday work call we were all asked what we had planned for the weekend. When it was my turn to speak I shared I was running a half marathon. I was asked if I’m doing a relay and I replied no running the whole half. I then heard wow I didn’t realize you were such a serious runner. Everyone that knows me knows I’m far from a serious runner!

Yes I’ve run 3 marathons and countless half’s not to mention the plethora of races at different shorter distances too but that definitely doesn’t make me a “serious” runner. I don’t even run the whole thing anymore. I take lots of walk breaks, enjoy the scenery and an occasional beer stop along the course. To me it’s NOT a race, it’s an activity that allows so much more than running! It allows me the thing most important to all of us as humans… it allows me to connect with other humans.

This is how I’ve met the most amazing people! Some of which have become my very best friends! When you join a group run the first thing you are usually asked is what pace do you run? Not what do you do for a living or where do you live. It’s not to be judgmental it’s so we know who’s going to end up paired together. And even that’s not always the case. Many times you’ll have a group of runners that have varying ability all running together because they enjoy the company!

If you’re reading this last part rolling your eyes thinking no way is a really fast runner staying behind to run or run / walk with someone with significantly less ability than you’ve never seen me out for a run! As I stated earlier I’m not the fast one… I’m almost always the weakest link. Yet I’ve run with Emily Huston Pounds, Becky Bailey, Carolyn DeChristofaro, Rick and Linda Hart, I even ran a really snowy run with Amanda McNinch and many more and they all slowed way down. Not because they had to run with me but because they wanted to.

Just by getting out there I have met people from so many different backgrounds. So many that I might not have ever crossed paths with that have enriched my life more than I could have ever imagined. This is how I found my tribe.

The next time you lace up your shoes think about all those you’ll meet and pass along the way. All those that have and still enrich your life and remember to enjoy the journey. After all isn’t that what life is all about?