Find your tribe. Love them hard.
It's 9:00am on April 1st. And it's snowing. The kids make their way quietly, slowly into the field house. They're in high school, so they're tired. Always tired. Today, a lot of them woke up, looked out the window and thought (hoped) they'd be able to sleep in. Not a chance. As far as the coaches are concerned, it's just another day and we need to train. End of story. The warm up begins and both teams, boys and girls, (about 150 athletes all together) start to show signs of life. A little chatting here, a little laughter there as reality begins to set in. Okay. We're here. This is what we signed up for. We're doing this. In the 20 minutes or so that we've been warming up, the weather has gotten worse. The snow is coming down harder and the wind has picked up. I confer with my fellow coaches as to whether it's safe enough to take my distance crew out for a run. Weather aside, the streets are bad and the visibility is worse. We decide it's okay if we stick together and run in the quieter neighborhoods. If it's too much, we'll bail all together. The warm up is done and the girls scatter to their various training groups. Our distance squad huddles together. Here's the deal I say. It's clearly nasty out. But there is not enough room in this field house for all of us to run. So, you have two choices. You can come out with me and give it a go. Or you can head to the training room and hop on a machine. It's totally up to you and I'm not the least bit upset if you opt to stay in. The girls nod and start walking toward the door. I say nothing as I start to shed some layers and prepare to go out. The girls say nothing as they decide what to do. It takes about 30 seconds. Then they all grab jackets, hats, gloves, anything else worth throwing on and get ready to go out with me. ALL of them. Girls I ask you sure about this? Yes, they all nod. We're good. Let's roll.
Runners are a unique breed. Young, old, fast, slow, none of it matters. When push comes to shove, we're all part of this one big, crazy family. The desire...the need...to run; it always makes sense to us. I am the coach in this particular scenario. But, even still, these are my people, my tribe. We build each other up. And we are stronger together. The road is ours and we're more than happy to take it. No matter what.
Listen to this:
Run For the Money by Salt Cathedral