“Do I have to be a runner?”
Lately, this question has been surfacing on our Facebook page and email inbox. Women embracing our message, but unsure if their journey counts, fits or will be accepted.
I’m a biker, not a runner – does it matter?
I have to walk before I run – do I still count?
I wear my flower to boot camp – is that okay?
I just want to embrace what this stands for – can I be part of it?
I run, but I don’t consider myself a runner – am I breaking any rules?
Okay, everybody say it with us on the count of three…1…2…(drum roll)…YES.
Yes, every journey counts. Every step forward matters. Any time a woman declares herself worthy of a passion or finish line, it should be celebrated. We are about putting one foot in front of the other. We seek to create a space where women feel empowered to speak their dreams, conquer their fears and share their stories. We hope to crush the unspoken silos of ‘it’s just me’ and help women embrace and accept the universal truths that are just beneath the surface – in all of us.
What we have learned, first through our own experience and now through the voices from women around the country, is that it’s about more than just running.
It’s why a busy mother wakes up at 5 am every day for an hour of solitude…
It’s why a woman pins the image of a treasured friend to her race shirt with the words, ‘In loving honor – I will never forget you,”…
It’s when a woman crosses her first finish line with her hands high in the air and tears flowing from her eyes….
And it’s when thirteen women commit to running a race in honor of their girlfriend’s birthday (without even thinking twice)…cuz’ that’s what girlfriends do…
Yes, it’s about way more than just running, and always has been.
In fact, we’re quickly realizing that is the reason women get us – and we get them –because our focus is actually not on the running.
It’s about moving forward. And, while running is our favorite tool in the arsenal of daily survival, we’re also huge fans of yoga, strength training, biking, playing with our kiddos, dinner with friends, and pouring a much needed glass of wine at the end of a tortuous day. It all counts, and we all reach for different tools, for different reasons, at different times – and that is what makes each of us beautifully unique and richly connected.
This is also where running (or your tool of choice) transcends beyond a physical activity to that of a spiritual refuge and release. If you’ve been there, you know it’s a precious, if not sacred intersection. It’s the realness of it all, where profound clarity bubbles up and the true beauty in a woman’s soul comes to life. And, it’s why our flowers resonate, as they too, reflect the stories of real, brave and resilient women.
We have realized that when one woman courageously releases her story, it gives another woman the strength to define her own. It is that movement and ripple effect we hope to serve.
But wait, there’s more.
Just like every good fairytale needs its ‘Once upon a time,’ we too, have a beginning to our story. And recently, a certain quote I stumbled upon in an unexpected place reminded me of this. While waiting in line at Disney World this past month, I spotted these words tucked away on a wall, spoken by the late Walt Disney.
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”
Disney got it. Even while he let movies, castles, rides, and princesses into the world of Disney, he never forgot – but rather deeply honored – that it was all started by a simple creation made to make people smile.
We can’t lose sight of that either.
It started with a flower, fourteen women…and running. Running is our core, our home.
So, no, you don’t have to be a runner, but you do need to make a commitment to yourself – that you’ll put in the work and step into the life that is waiting for you.
But just don’t be surprised when you ask us – on any given day – which tool we’ll pick from the ol’ tool kit arsenal. We’re pretty predictable.