I started running as a way to stay active in college, not expecting to fall in love with it. I’d played sports my whole life, but I wasn’t passionate about them. I loved team things—soccer, choir, plays, class discussions. Running was something different. There were no assessments; no one cared how far or fast I’d gone. It was the first activity that felt like it was completely mine, and for a super neurotic, high-achieving kid, this felt like a revelation.
Since my love of running was tied up in being by myself, I never really ran with other people, except for the occasional social run with a good friend. But when I started training for the Philadelphia Marathon in 2017 (my first and so far only!), I found myself longing for a community of runners.
I joined CHRC almost immediately after moving to Crown Heights in summer 2018. Since then, I’ve tried to go to Friday Five and Monday Miles as often as I can. My favorite group run was definitely the pub crawl Bo and John put together. I’m really hoping that can be repeated in some fashion once this is all over!
Outside of running, I play ultimate frisbee, work at a literary agency, and lift regularly to prevent overuse injuries. I’m not always able to attend CHRC group runs, but I Iove being part of the community. I’ve wanted to find more ways to get involved for a while now, so this past January, I joined the run leader crew. I was hoping to start leading trail runs in March/April, but for obvious reasons that timeline’s been thrown off.
Instead, I’ve gone back to my roots and re-embraced running alone. I feel immensely lucky to still be running at all—I know not everyone is in a position to do so. With all that’s going on, just being outside and able to move my body feels like a gift.. When I run, I’m able to connect with myself on a deeper level. I can accept any emotions that might come without judgement or fear. Running is cathartic for me; I’ve cried while running more times than I can count. Right now, when all of my emotions feel like they’e been pushed into high gear by the collective grief and trauma we’re facing as a global community, running is the best way I know to allow those emotions to wash over me and access the stillness that exists in the aftermath, if only for a moment.
The pandemic is a resounding reminder of the fragility of everything—our systems, our connections with other people, our bodies themselves. It’s a reminder that we can’t take things for granted. I’ve been trying hard to remember each day to appreciate small joys, to create connections with others as often as I can, and to find peace in the body I live in. Community feels especially important right now, when we’re all separated. Although I’ve found joy in running alone these past weeks, I also miss running with all of you. CHRC has always been an extremely warm and welcoming space, and I’m so grateful for the ways it’s continued to function as a support system and source of joy in these difficult times.
I’ve especially loved getting to see what everyone’s been up to with the Run and Done series. And although you might not have known it, you all helped me celebrate my birthday! In a perfect world, I would have marked the occasion (belatedly) by PR’ing in the Brooklyn Half. In this world, I got to post that day’s Run and Done. I loved getting notifications all day as everyone checked off their goals. Thank you for unknowingly celebrating 26 with me!