Can you feel it? The Fiercely United Virtual Run is almost here!
To celebrate the friendships, the miles and the soon to be consumed post-race victory
cocktails (!) Tori and I decided to share two little vignettes about the BRFs (Best Running Friends) who will be running alongside us come race day.
Mel + Lindsay :: 13.1 BRF Team
She is the text message before a big day or a big moment. She is the ‘just because’ gift you receive because it made her think of you. She runs races with you not for the medal, but for the moments. She gets on an airplane and travels across the country because you need her. She is the friend you want to see truly happy because of all the smiles and generosity she has given you.
She is late nights, glasses of wine, dancing with your hands up and laughing until you cry. She reminds you that you can be carefree and grounded all at the same time.
I am blessed to have this friendship.
As young girls, we would lock ourselves in her room, turn up Salt-N-Pepa (on our sweet cassette boom box), sing into our hairbrushes and talk about all the boys we liked. The only difference now is that we fly to fun destinations, talk about life and dreams, and sing into a karaoke microphone (after the wine).
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at Lindsay’s wedding. I described her as the friend who always shows up… no matter what. The older I get, the more I realize it’s not about having friends who are like you, but more so, having friends who accept you. Even when your flaws and imperfections are revealed and even when your crazy gets a bit untucked, you are LOVED… not judged.
On August 29th, Lindsay will run her BRF miles in Las Vegas while I run my miles in Rock Hill, New York. Despite 2,700 miles between us, I’ll feel her presence right by my side. It’s what I have loved most about planning this virtual run – it celebrates and honors the friendships that endure. In running and in life, it’s been one foot in front of the other with this girl, and I can’t wait to tack on a few more memorable miles.
Tori + Julie + Nicole + Durae :: 26.2 BRF Relay Team
Julie, Nicole, Durae is the order in which they came into my life. Julie, a childhood friend. Nicole, a school-age sports friend. Durae, a college friend. All of them lifetime friends.
My friendships with these fabulous ladies has always gone beyond our common interests: the sports we played together, the classes we took, the races we ran, or the trips we took. It’s been about the connection and the ease.
Nicole, Julie and I all knew one another in high school, and I met Durae in college. When Durae moved to the city where Nicole lived–I introduced the two of them so they’d each have a new friend! The rest is history.
Our worlds collided as a foursome when we traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate our 30th birthdays together. (And you can bet that we rang in that decade with a high fun factor level!) They are all Original Fellow Flowers and have shown up for me in more ways than I can count, but as much as their friendship means the world to me, I think my favorite part is the ways in which they love one another just as much. Sure, I’m the common thread, but our collective friendship runs deep and true in all ways.
Life can be difficult and messy and it has definitely sent the four of us in many directions, but through it all our friendship has never faltered. We’ve seen one another through a lot of change and uncertainty the past ten years, but what I love most about these ladies is how they attack everything that comes their way from a place of gratitude and hope.
We rarely get to see each other in person more than once a year, but when we do, we make it count. We make the time and we show up–for ourselves and for each other–even if we can only get in 24 hours.
Just over two weeks ago, we had our yearly meetup. When it came to a close, I sent them all this text. I think it pretty much sums up my feelings for them.
“Sitting here reflecting on our last couple of days together. The older I get, the more I treasure and value being around women such as you all. The authenticity is rare, unique and ever so beautiful. I cried while hugging and having to say goodbye to Nicole today. The lump in your throat, kick you in the gut feeling. It wasn’t just because I was saying goodbye to her, but because she was the last to go and because I knew our precious time together was officially over. When women come into your lives and fill you up in all of the right ways, you feel a little empty when it comes to an end. I rest my heart in a place that has me believing the emptiness is a good thing. I smile in thinking that it’s because you each take a small piece of me with you when you leave. So if you felt at all like I did, know that it’s because I also have a piece of each of you here with me reminding me of what true friendship is. A place of love, compassion, grace, understanding and non judgment. Where you’re free to be you, in all forms. Where you walk away feeling no better or less than the other. I’m blessed to know you and have in you my life, so please know how grateful I am for the time we get. Thank you for showing up and making time for each other. Until we see other again…Tori xo”
On August 29th, we’ll be completing the 26.2 Fiercely United Virtual Run Relay, each taking 6.55 miles on individually. As of now, none of us will be together in the same space. We don’t have an exact plan, but based on our past history, I imagine we’ll amp up the fun somehow. I know one thing for certain…we’ll all have orange flowers clipped in our hair on race day. For hope, for health, for one another. We run, Fiercely United.
P.S. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. Registration is open until 8/27 (or until sold out!). Plus if you register by 8/25 you will receive your race day package before race day! Click here to register or click here to learn more.