Showing posts from September, 2021

The Staying Power of Running Friendships

  The adage “Once a runner, always a runner” may eventually prove untrue. But I’ve learned that friendships built around running endure if they are meant to. I think to my current circle of close friends and 90% of them began with us running together. I’m including one that began with a hike, not a run, but it’s the same foundation built from conquering distance, counting steps and breathy-but-not-breezy conversations.   Walking works too, but for me, my personal identity remains tied to running. It’s probably why I’ll commit to walking for the rest of my life, and within weeks pick up the pace despite knowing the higher risk of injury and arthritic wobbles. It’s not a healthy relationship, I admit.    I wasn’t always a social runner. In fact, one of the reasons I took up that form of exercise in my teens was to escape into myself. In my 20s, it was to escape crying babies and a crabby husband. And in my 30s and 40s, it turned competitive. You think when you pass another runner that th

Catch and Release: My Return to Rowing

I picked Labor Day to return to the gym because I knew everyone else preferred to do anything else but work out. There were a lot more signs on the door beyond the one I remembered warning to keep it closed. Now everyone entering was ordered to wear a mask and Department of Defense-approved athletic attire. A posted schedule showed the three times a day the facility closed for cleaning.    The check-in system was the same as it had been when I last used it March 2020. But the faces behind the desk were all new. I showed my ID and asked where the rowing machines were now located. Their previous location had been converted into an F45 studio – a gym within a gym and  the first on a military installation . The women’s locker room looked the same except for all the signs now prohibiting selfies, not just dying hair in the sinks.    When I first started attending  this gym  20 years ago, there was a lone rowing machine wedged between two pieces of Nautilus equipment. It later moved to the m