In my opinion making friends as an adult woman is far more difficult than doing it with zits and braces in junior high school. By the time you go to make long lasting adult friendships with women as a woman in adulthood you are already pretty set in your ways and you are; YOU.
So finding someone you can gel with in multiple settings is difficult. Apparently I have not mastered this art and I guess I am coming to terms with that. Maybe.
Running has gifted me some pretty outstanding people. I have put myself out there which is very unlike me and there have been times when I have regretted it but to be honest even the bad experiences have led me to better ones so for that I am thankful.
I am different, strange I guess, passionate, giving (I think), and because of my past and my life being so chaotic I feel like when I invite someone in my life I try VERY hard to let them know they are a big part of it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it's looked upon as if I am uncool, or different than the person judging me. As an adult that still hurts.
During my training for Disney I connected with some people that I owe so much gratitude to. They encouraged me, they cheered me on from afar and they allowed me to see that I was ABLE to do what I had set out to do. While at Disney I realized a few very important things that have seemingly changed people's views of who I am.
All of the races I have run I have set out with the "I just want to finish" mentality. There have been very FEW races in which I set out to "race". That changed. My distance and challenge goals changed and my "running career" needed to take a different path.
I was/am no longer OK with just running to run. I want to improve, understand and perfect MY running ability. This does not mean that I do not respect what other people do it means that I understand my window of time with something that gives me so much joy is smaller than theirs and I want to take in every moment that I can.
I learned that the distance I love the most is 26.2 miles. I have always hated the half distance, and that was magnified and solidified while running 13.1 at Disney. Even though I had a fantastic race and a wonderful time. The smile and enthusiasm I had during my marathon was the missing piece of my running puzzle. At mile 19 my whole running experience transformed (and look I am not expecting you to get out crystals and get in a drum circle), I had new direction and a new passion for something I love.
Is it a distance I excel at? Nope. Is it one that I could improve? Hell yeah. Is it something that motivates and drives me to be what I deem a runner? Yep. But my view doesn't discount yours. It doesn't mean that I am not INSANELY proud of YOUR accomplishments it means that without the experiences I have had I wouldn't have found my happy spot.
My new found passion or relighting of the flame has cost me someone I respect very much because our goals are simply not aligned at the moment and that of course makes me sad. However all I can do is thank that person, wish them the most amazing path and welcome them back into my fold anytime they would like. People take different roads and that's OK.
I am hopeful that my friends understand that I have more respect for people who struggle, push and make it rather than the natural talent that some people have. I respect the struggle because I know it too well.
I invite you to reach out to at least one of the people who has inspired you and just let them know you are there and happy that you know them.
Promise them beer, burgers and Ryan Gosling.