this is my friend taylor. i’ve known her since kindergarten. from what i recall, we were in the same homeroom all of elementary school. if that’s not friendship, i don’t know what is. in the fourth grade we were in the talent show together. we sang “thank god i’m a country boy” and danced around in overalls with felt mustaches glued to our faces. in fifth grade we were in the talent show together. we sang a song from disney’s tarzan and wore felt monkey tails pinned to our pants. most recently, taylor took me to red rocks amphitheater for my birthday. we saw mumford and sons for their first night. they shot confetti into the air. we both wore cowgirl boots. my life has never been the same.
when deciding which photo of taylor i wanted to post, i could have chosen taylor with dierks bently, taylor with johnny knoxville, taylor with gavin degraw, or taylor with bill nye the science guy. she’s also breathed the same air as johnny depp and justin bieber. at. the. same. time. yep. she’s awesome. taylor is a part time writer/ full time friend/ half+full marathon runner/ whiskey drinker/ country song singer/ nashville resident/ colorado native/ skinny dipper/ heart breaker/ wanderlust. she likes drinking craft beer while quoting sex and the city. she speaks german when she’s drunk (and sometimes when she’s sober). she likes bison and jeep rides and hiking under the stars. taylor is almost as big of a broncos fan as i am… almost. she can also touch her toes. and i love her for it.
i asked taylor to guest blog because she is an amazing writer of topics i enjoy such as finding herself through outdoor adventure, musical awakenings, and beer. sound familiar? that’s because we’re best friends and basically the same person. but she’s wittier than i am. here’s a recent post from her blog that makes me love her more than ever (if that’s even possible). even when she thinks she’s being selfish, she finds a way to be selfless. she’s still got plenty to teach me.
you should follow her. no seriously, go to nashville and follow her. you’ll probably end up partying with old crow medicine show or something.
You’re independent. There’s no teamwork. Your miles are your own. Your cadence affects no one else.
While I have been willingly captured by the independence and joy of running, I admit I have become a little lost in its naturally selfish nature.
I want to hit the trails early so I can run without too many others around.
I want the trails to myself.
Me. Me. Me.
This morning, I got up at 6:40am on 27-degree December morning for marathon training. My plan called for seven miles of hills, and like usual I was eager to tackle them. As I started my run, I felt so blissful, for the millionth time, that I actually got sick of myself.
How can I do something this often that makes me this happy? What have I done to deserve to experience happiness on this level whenever I want? Am I selfish to keep doing it?
To counteract this onslaught of guilt and mild disgust, I decided that I would pick people to whom I could dedicate my runs. I thought maybe by doing so, my sheer joy, and boundless positive energy would be transferred into their lives somehow; sick, injured, unmotivated, depressed- people who wouldn’t be able to experience the sheer joy of running as I was fortunate enough to be able to this morning, and every day.
I am on day 17 of a 40-day streak where I run at least 1 mile every day. So here’s my plan: For each run of the remaining 23 days I will choose someone for whom I dedicate my run.
It may be a group of people, it may be that stranger I saw in the parking lot who looked like they were having a bad day, or it may be a repeat if I feel like that person needs a little extra boost in their universe. Karma, Holy points, good vibes, you name it- that is what I aim to send out through my daily runs.
At the end of the day, we are individuals. But that doesn’t mean our human spirit isn’t dynamic or transferable. I hope to gain a little more connectivity to the universe as I lace up and step out, not for myself, but for those who deserve the utmost happiness I am blessed to feel with every stride.
My aunt has been in and out of the hospital recently, but she has never really been able to be an active person. Because of her condition, she will never experience the runner’s high I feel almost every day. That is tough for me to think about. So today, I dedicated my eight miles to her.
Here’s to you, Aunt Julie. Hope you don’t mind the sweat.