The Long Run
On finding a running buddy after all these years.
I’ve always been running from something.
It was just shy of twenty years ago when I first started running—I remember the date, because it was April Fool’s Day. I wasn’t in a good place; I wasn’t happy with myself or the way things were going in my life at the time, and I thought running might change that. I was terrible at it, at first, but I plugged away, and even those early, slow, plodding runs were at least able to blast away the problems of the day.
Eventually, it grew to be something I enjoyed, or at least something I could count on when I needed something to count on. A few years later, I ran my first marathon, and I trained for it like I had something to prove. Whether it was to myself or to some imagined group of people who doubted that I could do such a thing, I was fueled by proving someone wrong. Proving that I could do it.
In the two decades since that first run, I’ve picked it up and set it back down repeatedly as my needs have served me, and over that span I’ve run five …