I’d like to share some stories about how my friends started running. Many of them started running in late high school, during college, or even after college. It’s never too late to start - have you heard about the 92 year old woman running the San Diego marathon?? FYI, she ran her first marathon in her 70s! Like making or breaking any other habit, it starts with baby steps (literally ;). I’ll tell you about how my friends started the habit.
First is Jon’s story (I told you that you’d be hearing a lot about him in the future)!
Jon and I met through the Business Honors Student Association at Temple. We became close during my sophomore/his junior year when we had a marketing class together. During class one day, we somehow got on the topic of running. I told him that I was doing the Philly marathon that year, and he said he wanted to start running with me. That same week, he joined me for a run and never looked back! Note that Jon had never been a runner and wasn’t even working out at that point.
(Every picture we take together looks like we're dating)
(Day before the marathon in 2011)
Running is 95% of the reason that we became such close friends. After running together that first week, Jon signed up for the Philly marathon. We spent hours together every week going for long runs. He went from never running more than two miles in his life in January 2011 to running a full marathon in November of that year. I’ll always cherish that race because it was also my first marathon. I can’t imagine what my training or race would’ve been like without Jon. I definitely wouldn’t have been as prepared and wouldn’t have been as confident.
(Post marathon - we both finished under 4:30!)
Ever since that fateful day of January 2011, Jon has always been my down-for-anything, go-to friend for activities. We ran together, biked together and even bought rollerblades together so we could rollerblade around Temple’s campus, which we did several times.
(One of our many biking adventures around Philly in college)
We even tried “batmanning” together, where you hang from your toes off a fence or horizontal pole. Do NOT try this. It was extremely dangerous and quite painful.
(Love that the security guard is just watching...)
Jon and I stayed in touch while I lived on the west coast, but moving back home has made our friendship stronger than ever.
He met me in Dallas to drive the second half of my road trip home from California with me.
(We stopped in Nashville and had one of the most fun nights that I can ever remember!)
(Strugglin' in Nashville)
When I needed a place to stay in April, he let me live at his house for a month so I could start working in Philly before my lease started.
(Picked up where we left off with our friendship by biking around Philly and going to the dog park.)
And finally, we ran a race together for the first time since graduating college in 2012. I really don’t know what I’d do without Jon and I can thank running for bringing him into my life as such a great friend.
(Broad Street Run 2015 - four years after we started running together)
Although this post turned into a tribute about Jon being an awesome friend, it shows how running creates an indestructible bond between people. Once you run with someone for hundreds of hours, I guess that makes you kind of close. ;)
For any of you non-runners, I hope this inspires you to get on the road with a friend and try running. If you’ve already been running for years, don’t forget about it and reconnect with an old friend by asking them to go for a run. It’s easy to get busy with work or school or life and put running on the back burner, but it only takes one run to remember why you started.