Hey guys, want to know what I love even MORE than a montage?? A FLASHBACK. And the start of my 10th season with Team in Training is JUST the occasion! Join me, friends, as we hypno-twirl, twirl, twirl back in time…
THE YEAR WAS 2005. Gold Digger was topping the charts (note that this is also FORESHADOWING since I will be asking for your money later. Employing every literary device in the book! Who said my time as an English major was wasted?). Facebook was only a year old, and so was Chris Mario (probably). I had just moved to Boston and experiencing that particular brand of panicked loneliness so common among the recently dorm-evicted. Sure, I knew La Giunta, but only barely and she scared the living daylights out of me. I was desperately in need of friends.
Then, inspired by one semi-successful 8-mile run in 10th grade, several strong beers, and Anna, I joined Team in Training. Hooooo boy you guys, I was a MESS. I ran in mesh shorts, I didn’t understand the concept of cross-training, and bless my own heart I didn’t bcc a soul on my first fundraising email (a review of artifacts from the era shows I was also referring to “the Facebook” unironically and receiving Friendster notifications on the reg, so let’s just say I didn’t have the most sophisticated grasp of social media).
I learned a lot about running that first year (the impact the discovery of BodyGlide has had on my life cannot be overstated), but what kept me coming back is what I learned about generosity. I was overwhelmed by it. I saw it in the stories my teammates told of how friends and family had rallied around them after their diagnosis. I saw it in the support I felt as a first-time runner who knew nothing and no one. And I saw it in the donations and emails that poured in from family and friends not yet weary of seasonal puns and paeans to Gu.
That generosity has stayed constant over the years, even as nearly everything else has changed. I still regard La Giunta with equal parts admiration and terror, for instance, but she’s now my friend AND roommate. My mesh-to-spandex ratio has COMPLETELY flipped, thank goodness, and I have finally mastered the art of the bcc. What’s changed the most, though, are my reasons for running. There are still the friends and the miles of course, but there’s also Tarsh and Richard and Larry and Ann, and countless others who need more help and more hope. In the past 9 years you’ve helped me raise over $27,000. This year, can we make it to $30,000?