The content of this blog entry has changed drastically since I originally started writing it earlier this weekend. I had a grumbling little commentary all prepared to gripe about every little thing that was bugging me at the time I sat down at my computer. My Friday at work was just plain old crappy. I got dumped on and chewed out and I was a jerk to a few people in return. My mood, my attitude, and even my food was just awful. Friday is supposed to be the happiest day of the week for working folks but I could not muster up the strength to get remotely excited about the two days of free time ahead of me. By the time I exited the parking lot and turned my car in the direction of home, I could only fantasize about my comfy pajamas and the corner of wine still left in a bottle I started on a few days ago. An early bedtime and a dinner of Fruit Loops was on tap, as long there was still milk in the refrigerator.
I shot a text to my bud Steph about my sub-par workday and she responded with an invitation to a dinner of Tex-Mex food with good friends. The company (and the margarita) snapped me out of my funk before I had too much time to truly wallow in it. The rest of the weekend played out in similar fashion. There were a number of celebrations on tap, including a graduation party. It was for my cousin who just finished up her graduate studies after a long struggle of balancing career and motherhood while pursuing her dream. There is something magical about seeing someone reach a huge goal after overcoming obstacles. It is kind of like being on the sidelines at a race when you see that dazed and exhausted runner with scraped bloody knees cross the finish line with absolutely nothing left in their energy stores. The race to get there is never graceful but those final steps across the finish are still filled with glory.
Of course the Saturday morning runs with my buds is always a consistent highlight of my weekends. No matter how badly I want to be pissed off at random B.S., the time spent with the running divas seems to always diminish the enormity of whatever crap I allow to sour my mood. The previous weekend my bud Sherry came up with the idea to solicit our little running clique to donate old running gear to my teen girls running club. I put out a message on Facebook asking for old discarded running gear, in hopes that some of the ladies would be doing some spring cleaning and might need to unload an item or two out of their closets. My hope was that I could gather a couple of running gear pieces that could be passed on to my Go-FAR girls. A couple of worn tech shirts and few pair of old running shoes is about what I expected. After all, running gear is expensive no matter what budget you are on and giving it away can be even harder. If anyone was willing to part with any small amount items I would have been appreciative.
But noooo...in true diva fashion, not only did they clean out their closets, they loaded enough items into my car that I had trouble closing the back door fully. It was far more than I ever expected anyone to do for my small cause. I got all wimpy and mushy when I took this photo. Not caring what was actually in the bags, I was emotional just looking at the entire pile. This was a lot of stuff. It hit me that these women took time to give to a group of teenage girls they had never met, but the kindness of their actions was overwhelming to me. Yes it might have been stuff they no longer used and would have tossed out eventually. However, the fact that they each trusted me to get it to some stranger who would use it and love it as much as they did warmed my heart and unraveled my previously bad mood for good.
My Go-FAR girls don't ask for much. They just want a stress free run twice a week in good weather with an adult guide (me) that won't judge them or criticize them, and will stay with them every step of the journey. They know absolutely nothing about this little donation project, so they will be completely surprised when they see all the items at our next group run. I would love for them to one day meet the ladies that were behind all the donations. I share stories with them all the time about my running friends and how we support each other on and off the running path. I use my friendships with my running buds as the model for the Go-FAR club. They don't realize it now, but I see how these teen runners have bonded as a tight knit little group with every run, very much the same way I have bonded with my pals over time. Maybe it is the sweat that bonds us to each other or maybe it is all the tough miles we cover together. Whatever it is, I know it is solid enough to hold us together for whatever miles still lie ahead of us. My students, hopefully, will one day feel the same way. When they realize the power of those friendships, I would like to think they will pass on these same values to next generation just as I have to them.