(I know, we’re already one federal holiday beyond Valentine’s Day, but as long as half-price chocolate is still crowding the shelves I feel completely justified in a love-themed email. Besides, I ran out of powdered wig jokes in 2011.)
How about this WEATHER we’re having, huh? It seems like 2014 has just been one long blizzard (do I blame Pete Bouchard? you bet I do). Adding insult to injury, the state of the Wellesley sidewalks – which unlike the Community Center parking lot apparently do NOT fall under the purview of the eagle-eyed preservationists at the Wellesley Historical Society – has forced us into the dreaded hills of Newton.
Most runners know the big three, or at least Heartbreak. But from our launching pad at mile 15, right above the drop into Newton Lower Falls, we get the added bonus of a particularly brutal end-of-run uphill. This hill is so bad that it has entered into TNT lore as Mildred, named after one runner’s elderly (and apparently unpleasant) aunt*.
When you’re clawing your way past a perfectly nice Dunkin’ Donuts up an ice-covered slip-n-slide, it can certainly feel like there’s a mean-spirited ghost at work. But Aunt Mildred isn’t the only one running that hill. Whether it’s Zac on my heels or Fulvio in my heart, Mildred is where I’ve always felt the support of my team most strongly.
Anna and I used to do hill karaoke, using the American horsepower of J.C. Mellencamp to get us to the top. Yes, it hurt – maybe not always so good – but hills and heartbreak have never stopped TNT runners. When we’re beat up and broken down, that’s when we pull even closer together. And THAT, my darling Jack and Dianes, is a love that most definitely feels like it should.
Love locked inside a deeply discounted heart-shaped box ,
*While there is no conclusive evidence that Mildred the Original was a member of the Wellesley Historical Society, let’s just say I have my suspicions.