This past weekend I met an old friend as the sun was just creeping up over the horizon and the air outside was a balmy 9 degrees. I hadn’t seen Sarah in a very long time, too long really. Life, work, kids and the day-to-day grind have a way of coming between people. At first, I wished we were meeting for dinner, just like we had two years before when the wine flowed along with the memories and laughs. Today, though, we were actually meeting for something we hadn’t done in over 20 years together… we were lacing up for a run. Not since our days as gangly high school track girls had we met up to share a lane together. It was a road reunion.
I remember thinking, “How am I going to update her on all that has happened in the last month of life, let alone the year?” But like it always does, running with a friend has a way of bringing out a new story at every mile. I know I have written before about the bond I have with my run club girls. My friendships with them all started on the trail and then became even stronger off of it. But there was also something so special about running with a member of my old crew that gave me pause. The years may have aged my legs and slowed me down, but running is so much a matter of the heart too.
Running with my high school BFF brought me right back to where we left off as if we hadn’t missed a beat. Every pound of the pavement also brought with it some “road wisdom” as I call it…
- Only an old friend can remind you of who you were at your core before the world hardens you. We could all use that reminder sometimes.
- Our last names may be different now but we will always be the dynamic duo known as Jensen and Setaro.
- Running was exponentially easier at 15 then it is at 35. This does however make running even more of an accomplishment now than any track meet win back in the day, because it takes way more tenacity and resilience at my advanced age.
- You also learn as you go through life that first place doesn’t matter as much as finishing what you started and getting over those hurdles.
- Sarah was always a cross country girl so she knew how to keep pace to endure the long haul. I was a sprinter (key word “was”), so I knew how to live fast and push my limits. We both could learn from each other. A push and pull of endurance and a little acceleration can get you to the finish line.
- And now a moment of silence for the Holy Cross High School track “short shorts” that will never again fit me…sad face.
- Just like high school we totally talked about boys on our run…they just happen to be in the under 8 bracket now. At least they are not going to break our hearts before chemistry lab. We also were able to talk about those “mean girls” now known as the “judgy moms” of the world. We will always stick up for each other and be the type of girls to let everyone sit at our lunch table.
- We both ended up as second grade teachers and moms to Ty, Ky, Chase & Anna (solid name choice on your little girl, Sarah!) This may have aged us a tad, but you can bet our spirits are still young and a little bit wild.
- We ironically both still live in the “bury”, although Glastonbury and Simsbury are a totally different kind of “bury” than the Waterbury we grew up in. Trust us.
- Someone who has known your family forever can understand your worry about a parent’s sickness with few words needed. That familiarity can let you be honest about your struggles while reminding you that you have made it through the woods before.
- The trivial problems of high school pale in comparison to real life ones but this still applies…you should always know who you are, who your friends are, and who can tutor you in algebra.
- After a run, you should always hydrate. Whether it’s a coffee or a beer, miles with a friend should always be celebrated with a tasty beverage.
I’m glad I captured that shadow picture memory of this run. It reminds me that no amount of distance can lessen the bond of true friends…and also your wrinkles never show in shadows. Most of all, it’s good to see those two girls are still running together after all this time…