On finding running "solemates"...
Almost 18 years ago, July 4th, 1996 to be exact, my friend Barb was training for a marathon, and somehow talked me into running a 5k. By running, I mean she ran and chatted effortlessly the entire time, as I put all of my energy into trying to breathe, staying upright and keeping my eyes peeled for the next water station. Although I had run a few times here and there during my high school and college years, and worked out in gyms frequently for years, I hadn’t ever done any real running. That combined with recently having had my middle daughter, made this one of the most difficult 36 minutes of my life. I had to walk between miles 2-3, but I finished, with my friend right by my side. It was a moment that would change my entire life.
Fast forward almost 18 years. Barb and I have now run several marathons and half marathons together. But more important than the events we have completed, have been the countless hours and miles we have logged between them. The road has given us a place to talk, laugh, cry, vent, learn and grow in the healthiest of ways. It has been a constant factor in an otherwise insane life, which I know so many women can relate to. She has been my “solemate”. I know this goes for so many women regardless if it is from walking or running, as it is such a wonderful way to connect with others and one of the only sports in which you can truly engage in conversation while exercising. No distractions, no choreography, no audience, no limits on what can be shared. Running and/or walking is a gift, and our solemates make this gift priceless.
During the past few years, I have been wanting to start a running group in my area but felt that it needed to be about more than just training runs and competing in events. I felt passionate about making it about the physical and emotional betterment of not only ourselves, but of others as well. After years of running numerous events and building incredible friendships with other women involved in running and walking, I felt that I was standing on the exact path that would lead to the creation of Solemates in Motion. I am beyond lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful, intelligent, positive group of women, who believe in this dream as much as I do, and they are helping every day to make it a reality. They are my solemates. I hope you will be ours.
- We [the members of Solemates] will choose an organization at each group run/walk to give to. One week, it may be the Oregon Food Bank, so we all bring non-perishable items. One week, it may be a shelter that needs women's clothing, or blankets, etc..It may be putting on a 5k. :) We may adopt a family or a few for the holidays and bring gifts for them.. the list goes on. We feel this will be a way in which we can immediately help others, and our members can play more of a roll in making suggestions about whom to help.