Dear Kelly

Team running certainly has its upsides and downsides. I started my running career with a team and I loved every second of it. The feeling of unanimous pain made it feel better in some way, more wholesome. It was, and still is, pretty unexplainable. In my first running team, encouragement was our big thing. We had people on every level of running, so we were a diverse group, however, I really felt no competition. The faster people encouraged the slower ones so it was like we all ran the same time. I didn’t feel like I had to be faster than someone in order to accomplish my goal, which has always been my mindset. To me, everything is a competition. But this world was different. And I liked it and I hung on to it for as long as I could.

I love doing things as a group because I’m a socialite, I am in my element when I am around other likeminded people and running with a group is the perfect setting for a person like me. There is something about sweating towards a common goal which makes me want to work that much harder. Groups hold you accountable for what you do and they push you without competing with you. For instance, if you are running with someone and they don’t stop, you are less likely to stop as well for whatever reason, fear, embarrassment, etc. however, I feel like when I am alone, I can talk myself into slowing down or stopping in a way that I just couldn’t do if someone was by my side, panting.

However, sometimes I like to run alone because as we have discussed in class before, when the going gets tough, I start to sing and I would never want to inflict that sort of harm onto someone’s eardrums. That is truly cruel and unusual punishment.

Other than that one condition, I love to run with people. It motivates me. I haven’t run in so long but as soon as Kelly got back to campus, the first thing I asked her is if she would want to run with me. Her presence holds me accountable for the miles I need to put in. I think group running is part of the running experience. Granted, there are Murakami’s in the world who can run six miles with no music for exactly one hour whist smoking six packs of cigarettes a day by himself, but I feel there are far more Cassidy’s who like to run in a group and work together (please ignore the fact that he left everything he knew and loved to pursue running, I’m trying to make a point). Teams set the foundation for what it is to be a runner. It is truly a community. I feel proud to call myself a part of the running community and I boast about it when people ask.

Running as a group makes running more bearable because misery loves company and if you’re not miserable on mile seven and its 94 degrees outside and you’re running our fourth hill of the route, you’re a damn lie.

So, Kelly, I can’t wait to run with you so we can be miserable together.

Yaa

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