ImageFull of thanks.  That’s the season that’s come upon us (as Americans) and it’s one that never seems to get old.  Everywhere we turn, there’s an uptick in the spirit of the holidays, the chance to spend time with family and friends, and the feeling that comes from the comfort of a cool breeze met with layers of down. 

I love this season, when typically, as a large runner, I find it easier going.  The wind cools me down on long runs, and while others struggle with the temperatures, I used to grudgingly but proudly layer up and go out for 5, 6, or 10 miles with friends.  

Looking back on the last ten years, I am amazed to find that the vast majority of my Saturday mornings were spent with good friends, running in weather that most people found inhumane.  Dark, windy mornings on Chicago’s lakefront are nothing to take lightly, and we didn’t.  We wore our warm tights, our ear warmers, our winter socks, and our windproof jackets.  We started our run right from the store – no casual warm-up for the first half mile on those mornings. 

And we caught up.  We found out who’d had dates.  Who was behind in their Thursday night TV.  We knew about the terrible bosses, the sick mothers, the holiday drama, and the one night stands.  We knew too, that it was always better with our friends, this group of warriors, who hung onto Saturdays like the lifeline they always were. 

Many of us have moved on to other cities, other races, other sports, other lives.  It’s fair to say that Saturday mornings aren’t quite the same – but somehow, no matter when I lace up, I feel the presence of the people who run, no matter where they land – Karachi or South Beach, London or Indy, West Loop or Washington.  

So in this season of thanks, I add mine to the runners who inspired me to get moving, keep moving, and miss moving.   I’ll see you again soon.

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