There is a great quote by John Bingham that says “If you run, you are a runner. … It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” This quote always comes to mind as I greet our customers who come into the store for a new pair of running shoes. Many are training for a race and whether it is their first or they are attempting a new distance, their enthusiasm is contagious. Soon, we are both chatting excitedly about training and how the miles are adding up. This really is what makes my job so fun!
Several years ago I was that person who was walking into ARC looking for a pair of running shoes. There was a local race that benefited a cause that was special to me – Logan’s 5k Run and Walk for Autism. While I was there, the staff told me about their group runs and said I should come give them a try. I thought to myself, “there is no way I can hang with these guys! I’m not that good of a runner,” but after some convincing, I decided to show up one week.
What I found was amazing! Here was a group of people who welcomed and encouraged me! It was pretty awesome to have complete strangers become very good friends, and all through running! We all have that bond, that love to go out there and get those miles in! So every week I went back and even went to run with other running groups. I discovered new places to run and met great people to share my miles with!
After I started working for ARC is when I really discovered my love for the trails. I wanted to share that joy with others so I thought, let’s start a trail running group! One morning we met on the Appalachian Trail with a handful of people all ready for an adventure. We had so much fun, so I continued to encourage other runners to come try it out. Soon they discovered their love for the trails too! It truly is a joy to see their smiling faces as they play in the woods!
So there it is, that is my club – my tribe. They are an amazing group of friends who inspire me every day. Whether your group is online and you have never met, beer runners who toast after their run, or just a few people hitting the trails – you will find your tribe!
And do you know what the best part is? There is no membership to this club! You put on those running shoes, show up, and just run.