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Jessi A. – Friendship

Perseverance, Stubborn, Crazy…all words I contemplated when trying to figure out what my word was. They were good, but not quite right. Then it hit me.

It was around 2 a.m. on a recent Sunday morning when my word finally came to me. I was pacing a fellow Ambassador during her 100 mile ultra; it was humid and windy, we both had blisters and were exhausted, but I was doing my part to keep her motivated and moving by talking, playing music, telling stories and making sure she had food and drink. As crazy as it all was, it’s when I truly knew why I run. For the Friendship.

Friends are what got me into running, and friends are what keep me running.  While I ran track in elementary through high school, I quit after graduation (Truth: I was a competitive swimmer, track was really just to keep in shape for swimming). Fast forward 15 years. I saw pictures of friends running half marathons at Disney and other interesting locations. It looked like fun, especially the Disney races, but I’d never run more than 6 miles, how was I going to get to 13, especially by myself?

It just so happened that my company was sponsoring a local race and encouraged employees to sign up. We started running together at lunch, and for the first time since high school, running was fun again because I had people to run with. I completed my first 5K in 2012 and kept on going.

Soon after that first race I joined a local running club. We call ourselves the Monday Night Hangovers – like so many clubs, we’re a drinking group with a running problem. (And an eating problem, because we all run to eat, right?). Since joining, I’ve been racking up the miles and medals, all while making new friends along the way.

MNH is the best group of friends you could ask for. The friends who get you through the best of times and the worst of times. The friends who support you unconditionally.

The friends who:

  • hear your life drama every week without judging
  • laugh with you (and sometimes at you)
  • celebrate your accomplishments
  • support you through injuries and disappointments (and I’ve had my share of mine!)
  • train with you whether it’s 5 degrees, 90 degrees or pouring rain
  • understand the weird bodily functions that happen during runs
  • throw birthday parties and baby showers for each other
  • pace you during races, or come and cheer you on
  • hold you accountable for training because you know you’ll get made fun of if you don’t show up (or even if you do, we’re equal opportunity jokesters like that).

In addition to my MNH crew, I also have my RWB friends, Ragnar teammates, triathlon buddies and of course, my Skirt Sisters. They are responsible for my perseverance, stubbornness, sanity, odd eating habits, insane expenditures on races and clothing, and much more….but at the end of the day, all these things boil down to just one word: Friendship.

 

Who is Jessi?

Jessi is a runner, triathlete, Jaycee, chocoholic, Disney fanatic, traveler, Broadway addict, boardgame enthusiast, and sock collector whose favorite mantra is All Who Wander Are Not Lost. You can find her supporting her two stepdaughters in their activities, camping with her husband, doting on her cat, and spending her free time with family and friends. Read more about Jessi’s adventures on her blog www.runningthroughlife.wordpress.com