This was the Anthem All-Stars group I ran with on Sunday. We met at Anthem Coffee and Tea, ran just over 3 miles and stopped at Happy Donuts for some donuts and then ran back to Anthem for coffee to go with our donuts. Crazy runners. "Will run for donuts!"
This was the day before at Starbucks. I met up with the South Hill Running Club and ran 10 miles. Some people ran 4-6 miles, but I pressed on with the people that were running 10. What an AWESOME group of shiny, happy people! This picture may have been taken BEFORE the run, but afterward, we were all still smiling when we were sitting inside Starbucks drinking coffee. Always POSITIVE VIBES!
Disregard the handicapped parking sign behind us. First off, my friend Angy and I are standing in front of Starbucks this last Saturday morning, waiting to RUN with the group. I may have Multiple Sclerosis but I have it in a chokehold and I am NOT handicapped. At any rate, everyone was waiting to take the big group photo and we decided that we would get a selfie while we waited. Friends, being happy and positive, waiting to run some miles on the road early in the morning. It did not matter who ran fastest. It did not matter who ran the furthest. The only thing that mattered was that we ran. Just to get out there and run... THAT is what matters. One would think that after running a few miles and ESPECIALLY after a half or a full marathon, happiness would be overtaken with exhaustion, but I am here to tell you that I feel better, happier, more positive AFTER running a few miles. I have a connection to running and my fellow runners that I can't explain. I have found myself watching videos of races and as the runners cross the Finish Line, I often start crying. Tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of emotional connection with the ACT of crossing that Finish Line. I know. I know what it takes. I've run many miles and crossed many Finish Lines and I know that it often takes EVERYTHING I have within me to keep pressing forward to get to the end of the run. I know the pain, the questioning one's own abilities, the dehydration, the WALL that one "hits" at some point in the run and must break through to carry on, EVERYTHING that comes with running, I've been there and done that. I even cry when I cross Finish Lines, as each one is still an accomplishment and I am SO VERY GRATEFUL that I can do it! But in the bigger picture, it's not about me as much as it's about YOU, my fellow runners and my fellow MS'ers and my fellow human beings. For me, it's about pressing on, through all the circumstances and obstacles, diseases and minor illnesses and everything in-between, aches and pains and anything else that yells at us and reminds us that stopping is still an option. It's about pushing past all that, reminding everyone that it can stiil be done, despite any obstacles that may get between us and the end of the run. A good friend recently told me she loves me for the fact that I am always bringing the POSITIVITY. THAT is what DRIVES me to keep showing up every day and pressing forward! To help others see the positive in the world, in life itself, THAT is what it's all about for me. I have taken it upon myself to stay as positive and grateful as I can and shine that out of myself and show people that life goes on and so must we, NO MATTER WHAT! It's about inspiring and/or motivating YOU more than it's about showing what I can do.
This was the group photo before the Monday Night Run at my home running store, Fleet Feet Bonney Lake. Yep, three days in a row.