Dexter and I spent far too much time comparing notes on what we expected the training team environment to be like. I think we may have had visions of high school PE teachers with whistles and stop watches, attempting to motivate a lot of sleepy folks who turned up on the roof.
Yes, you read that correctly. We meet on the roof of the parking deck of Retreat Hospital in one of the most beautiful Richmond neighborhoods. Check out the view.
As it turned out, there were no stop watches or whistles or PE teachers, just really nice volunteers who love being active so much, they give their time to help others get comfortable and confident with the sport of running.
How cool is that?
Mandy B., our lead coach, is great. Upbeat, full of great tips, she’s the first one there every Saturday morning and likes to make sure we move out on time.
Dexter and I are great fans of her punctuality. We’re also completely and totally impressed at the number of events this woman has run, including several marathons. Rock. STAR!
Up On the Rooftop
(1) Always carry a copy of the route with you (in a plastic baggie to avoid potential disintegration via moisture absorption)
(2) Always be sure to come back to the roof to sign out on the check in/ check out sheet. Otherwise, coaches have to go out looking for you while you’ve moseyed down to your local Starbucks for a post-run latte. Un-cool.
(3) In a confrontation between a runner and a car, runner will lose. Do not challenge the car!
After these and other important get-started tips, we warmed up as a group with some ankle rolls, knee rolls, hip rolls, shoulder rolls and jumping jacks.
Then we were off on our first big run!
Around the block.
I jest. Somewhat. It was longer than around the block. It was a mile, to be precise.
And Dexter and I were feeling a little smug because we had typically been running between 2 and 3 miles on a regular basis already.
Then, when we were standing in line to check in and confirm that we had found our way back to roof, we started chatting a bit about the run with others in line. There was a lady behind us who had clearly gone all out for the run and was recovering. She shared with us that this was the first mile she’d ever run in her life.
I started observing my fellow participants more closely and realized with a rising sense of delight that this training team was turning out to be somewhat different – actually more than what I had hoped for. It’s not about time trials and stride clinics. It’s about people, just like us, supporting one another to reach a personal goal. We’re cheering one another on, we’re pushing each other and we are definitely celebrating successes.
We’re waiting for each other on the rooftop every Saturday morning, ready to stretch just a little bit further together.
Just be sure you arrive by 7:30AM. Sharp.
Wishing You an Awesomelicious Day!