October 22, 2010

A Promise

I will not try to be a parent, a hero, a teacher or someone you look up to. I won’t pretend I have the answer to anything, really, except maybe to a couple questions you might have about your training.

There will be no power struggle between you and I. You will have no standard to live up to or reputation to uphold, nor will I. We will just put on our running gear and head out. You’ll tease me about not wearing shoes, and I’ll remind you who finished the last run out of breath, bitching and moaning. Then we’ll scoff and smirk and give each other looks and hit the track.

I will not judge you or your actions. I will simply care for who you are, in this very moment. And that’s a runner. With talents and flaws, strengths and challenges, hopes and fears. Exactly like me.

I’m not offering you much, I know. You will be the one making all the efforts. Making sure you attend our evening trainings every week. Waking up on Sunday mornings when everyone else sleeps. Watching what you eat a little, maybe trying to catch some ZZZ’s every once in a while to be in shape for a run. Phoning me a couple times to give me the lowdown on your individual schedule.

I know I’m not doing much. I will simply run by your side. Every step of the way. Under the sun and in the rain, freezing my ass in the snows of winter and sweating my soul in the heat waves of summer. Handing you Power Beans to keep you going and stealing sips of your Gatorade. Giving you advice you’ll grow to both love and hate. Cheering for you or kicking you a bit, whichever you need.

We’ll stand together at starting lines and revise our race strategy, jumpy and excited. We’ll cross some finish lines, exhausted and exhilarated. If all hell breaks lose and we hit the wall, we might even DNF together. And if we do bail out, we’ll come back. Together.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Don’t kid yourself, it is. But if you hang tough, if you stick around, if you give this all a shot, you won’t regret it. You’ll wake up very early on a late summer morning after a nervous sleep; you’ll grab your backpack and come meet me and the Doc and all the gang at the sports center. We’ll head out for the bridge, line up with thousands of other athletes and wait for a starting gun we’ll have spent a year training for and dreaming about.

And about four hours later, you’ll never be the same again.

And that’s a promise.

The second season of √Čtudiants dans la Course (the Quebec version of Students Run L.A.) begins next Tuesday, October 25th. Support us by cheering the group at local races or by donating to Dr Julien's foundation that runs the program.

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