I’m four weeks in to coaching the spring season of the Halifax chapter of Team in Training. It’s been…. amazing.
The first week was all excitement and buzz in the room before the run. There were nervous exclamations and tentative goals announced and breath huffed out into steamy puffs in the cold November air.
There have been some minor injuries, some discouraging runs, some heartfelt conversations about affirming goals. But most of all? There has been so much inspiration.
I watch them struggle and succeed. I read their Facebook statuses and I am constantly awed by these people. To say nothing of the reason they’re running, to say nothing of the insane amounts of money this group has pledged to raise, but to watch them start from scratch and promise to run a half-marathon, to run a full marathon. That is something I never, ever had the courage to do.
I’m cautious, terrified of failure, and so I step tentatively and quietly until I am sure that I am ready, sure that I will reach my goal. But these courageous people, who decide to train for very, very long distances without having run more than 5k or 10k or something even 2k. And they don’t do it quietly! They post it on Facebook and tell their friends and family. They do it loudly and for a reason.
I’m running for my grand-mother.
I’m running for my father.
I’m running for my wife.
For my child.
For my neighbour’s child.
I’m running for thanks, because we are healthy.
And they thank me, every week, for encouragement and support and advice. But what they don’t see, what I’m not really sure that they understand, is that I’m the one who should thank them.
For showing me how brave and beautiful people can be. For welcoming me into the place that makes tears spring to my eyes every Saturday – tears of thanks and of empathy. These wonderful, welcoming, people who are so willing to learn and train and make a difference in the world – they are amazing. And I am so, so lucky to know them.