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Leaning on friends, trying to pay it forward

Posted Aug 31 2010 5:18am

I realized the other day I’ve not posted in a few weeks. We are starting to get into the busy season at work, and for once, I’m glad for this time to come. It’ll keep my mind active, and in a good way.

I’m also starting to take a Spanish language course in the evening, two nights per week. It’s not for a grade or anything, but the hope is that eventually I can use the language at work because my library collects a lot of foreign-language materials, from many countries that don’t translate their legal materials into English.

I have to admit – at first, I was not totally thrilled at the idea of taking a class again. I feared that many of the students would be much younger than me, as was the case when I last sat through French (“refresher for me”) classes at the university affiliated with my former employer.  However, yesterday I realized that part of the reason I like my job is because every day you can be asked a different question, and every day you can feel like a sponge all over again. I like learning about a lot of different things – I hate getting bored and doing the same thing over and over again (although there is something to be said that a routine can also be comforting sometimes, especially in times of stress.)  Also, age is what you make of it. It can only make you feel uncomfortable around others if you let it. If you’re confident in and happy with yourself, it will come through. People will want to be around you.

And, speaking of self-esteem, when I made some major changes to my life about a month ago, a good friend’s husband gave me some good advice – he had gone through a similar experience and said “be sure to lean on your friends.”  That is some of the best advice I’ve received.  In addition to my longstanding friends, I’ve also made some new ones.  Over the past few weeks, some individuals that were formerly just coworkers of mine have become good friends.  And guess what? They’re also runners! :-)

Speaking of which, this is (usually) a running blog, so…

I am probably going to run a few 5K races over the next few weeks.  One of my coworkers/new friend and i are thinking of trying out different running groups in the area together. I remember how nervous I was the first time I went to a track workout with MVS , and how I felt intimidated by other runners who were clearly faster than me. We both feel like we’ll feel more comfortable meeting other runners if we go together.

Another coworker/new friend is thinking of doing his first race ever.  Needless to say, I am so excited about the prospect of running a race again with someone on their very first time out, as I did about year ago with my friend Amy.  Being a guy, and younger than me, he is gifted with speed I can only work on achieving, but I think at the 5K distance, I can keep up with him, and possibly set a PR at the 5K distance.   How awesome would that be?! (Needless to say, I’m also enjoying teaching him about all the running products/fuels, etc., that only a running nerd like me could enjoy, LOL.)  I am really hoping that it can be a positive experience for him, and that we can pass tons of people in that last half-mile (oh yeah…that’s the competitive spirit in me coming out, LOL.) 

 I guess you could say that by teaching someone new(er) to the sport (my friend has been running for a while now, he’s just never raced), this is my way of giving back to a community that has done so much for me, and for which, I am so extremely grateful. I’ve learned so much about how to properly fuel, how to work on mental toughess, racing, apparel, etc., from reading so many of your blogs, twitter feeds, etc.   While I could have done it on my own, I’ve realized how much better it’s been to learn from others. I know  could not have gotten through my marathon back in 2008 without the help of my brother who ran alongside me, at such a ridiculously slow pace for him. So, I hope I can repay at least a little of that kindness out into the ether, so to speak.

Anyway, stay tuned for some upcoming race reports, and hopefully some new PRs.  Until then, I leave you with a very cute picture of Ruthie. She’s looking out at the “city version” of Dog TV. :-)   (She’s coming back again this weekend, I can’t wait!!)

Ruthie watching trains and cars go by, on Dog TV (so exciting!)


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