Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Best Way to Catch Up with Friends

It is a strange thing to come back to Memphis as a guest instead of a person coming home.  Yet on such a short stay before we head to the South Pole it would be difficult to find people who qualify more as we do as visitors.
Coming back was not without the drastic shift in weather from Guam to Memphis. Such a cold blast to the lungs was quite intense indeed. Strangely enough I find myself missing the cold of last week. Having grown up in Ohio the cold weather is a thing a person has to learn to run in if there is any chance of a good track season. You learn to cope and then even to like it. At times I find myself missing some good frigid runs.  This past week offered a nice relief in this arena and I think I might get one or two more such runs soon.

The best part of coming back to Memphis, from a running standpoint, is getting to run with Bryan and Bryce. There have always been a plentitude of great running partners in Memphis and for that I will always be thankful. From a stellar cross-country team that welcomed us to Houston High School to continuous Breakaway runs over the years to long runs in training for marathon training.

During all of this time and mostly through convenience and other such factors, it was Bryan and Bryce who became the most consistent of running partners in Bluff City. Arguably the running partner is one of the most important factors in the running life. The conversations that have taken place while running with these two men have been one of the most memorable of all the pleasant gifts that have come from the many runs we have shared.

The feeling of running well known streets where so much of who I am as a runner has been formed has been both refreshing and sustaining to the body and mind. The area itself is so familiar and well traversed by my feet that something internal connects in a deep way with the roads, the smells, and even the feel of the city. It is wonderful to be back.

This Christmas I am quite appreciative of so very many things. In a season where I personally celebrate the birth of the Christ with a passionate excitement, I cannot help but share also how wonderful it is to have reliable and faithful running partners. It sounds strange to couple such ideas together but as I celebrate all the wonderful gifts of the season I do not wish to overlook one I am so grateful exists.

So this Christmas season I am taking full advantage of being back near Bryan and Bryce, even though my body is questioning wether so many runs with them are truly gifts. Either way I'll be running with them! Who are you running with this Christmas?