Yesterday, it was my turn to give the “benediction” for our marathon training team. We are the church of the Sunday long run!
I had already written it, but then we learned about what happened to Eliza. I had to talk about her. Here’s what I said:
This week, I know that safety is on the minds of many of you as we mourn the loss of Eliza Fletcher. She is us. We are her. The running community will stand together to be safe and protect each other from social stigmas about how we are supposed to participate in this sport and from those who may wish to harm us while we are simply living our lives.
More than ever, I’m grateful for this team.
There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together”
Reflecting on my running journey, I know I wouldn’t be here without this community, and especially without this team.
While I was sick with Covid, I made it my special project to watch the entire series of Parks and Recreation. I know. Quite the accomplishment!
But I found myself inspired by Amy Pohler’s character, Leslie Knope, because of her idealism and drive to change the world. And this quote from her encapsulates so much of what I feel about this team:
“Now go find your team. Get to work. Whatever that work is that you find worth doing. Do it, and find some people to love who’ll do it with you.”
We may not believe that we are changing the world by running marathons, but we are inspiring others to get active, make time for wellness, and welcoming new runners to join this community.
May we always remember and appreciate how lucky we are to do this.
This is our team. This is our mission. I love you guys…
ALL GO. NO QUIT. COWBOY UP!
The lead photo is how we traditionally huddle for the benediction, a photo pre-Covid, with Coach Blair leading. We are still spreading out a bit.
That last line in caps is what we say together. It revs us up for the journey ahead. On Sunday, that was 14 miles. Time well spent with a great friend, telling stories, processing traumas, and spontaneously breaking out into song!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.