Some of my friends and I ran in a Warrior Dash today. The hills, rocky terrain, mud, and obstacles challenged us, and one of us cheered from the sidelines. I know that was its own kind of challenge. But today was not about the race as much as it was about being together.
We started training in 2016 to make our bodies stronger. We continued into 2017 because we realized getting stronger together was a lot more fun. Our workouts did our bodies good, but it did our hearts good too.
Long runs are a great time for long talks. Sometimes sweating it out can lead to crying it out. And laughing while attempting a perfectly executed bear crawl is just good for the soul.
My daughter’s friend asked me why I race. The medal is nice, the crazy warrior hat is fun and I like working hard to get to the finish line.
But more than anything, today was about friendship.
It was about us saying to one another, “I’m glad you’re here!”
“We don’t really make friends, they make us.”
I raced in my 2nd Spartan Sprint at Fort Benning, Georgia this weekend.
Before you’re tempted to think I’m a hard core athlete or a fitness guru, let me tell you, I am not. I’m a 40-something wife and mother of three who ran my first 5K two years ago in honor of my mother and to support the local hospice organization that helped care for her.
Something changed when I trained for and finished my first race though. I wrote about my journey from believing I could never run to finishing my first 5K in a post called Run.
I continued to train for other races on my own but then joined a group of women training for our first Spartan Race last summer. It was incredible. I wrote about that too in my post Together and here we are together again.
Something special happens when you join a group of people working toward running a hard race. You show up to the workouts when you’d rather not. You work harder because you see the others working harder. You cheer for one another and learn from each other. Then it becomes something more than working out together. You talk and laugh and get to know each other. You conquer fears together. You share life stuff and you care about these people. You want to do your best in the race and you want them to do their best too.
I realize this race wasn’t my race….it was our race. Each one of the ladies in our group made me better in some way. I run better. I’m stronger. I’m more confident. I have more fun. All because of these amazing women!
As part of my Live Like It Matters Challenge, I challenge you to do the same. Gather a group of people…..friends, co-workers, family, whoever and set a goal to do something hard. Find a local 5K and train for it together. Pick a Relay for Life event and raise a certain amount of money together then participate. Gather a team and train to compete in dragon boat races. Do a Warrior Dash or a fun run with your kids.
There are one hundred creative ways to do something hard with a group of people.
Because the thing is: we are better together.
Always have been.
Now go. Gather. Train. And live like it matters.