For now, you should know that of these three women, two have run multiple marathons and are both gearing up to run another in the fall. One wants to qualify for Boston, one is raising money to beat cancer. The third does not consider herself a runner at all, and though she's done several triathlons, running more than 4 miles at a time is absolutely unfathomable to her.
Unfortunately for her, she made the mistake of saying so.
There are times when we have a chance to be positive, to affect change, to help someone see the light, so to speak, and to become better versions of themselves. I believe in the transformative power of running, and I believe that everyone can run. I think my other friends do as well. I'm not sure, however, that we did such a great job of conveying this idea last night.
Cries of "That's ridiculous!" and "Whaaaaat?" and "I'm not even going to listen to that!" emanated from our table when the "non-runner" indicated that running a 10k was absolutely a frightening proposition for her. We may have cornered her a bit, may have refused to accept her lack of belief in her ability. We may have said so loudly and brashly. We may have gotten in her face a little bit. Maybe. (She can handle it, thankfully, and may have been laughing at us.)
When the aforementioned hotbox subsided, conversation then drifted to the moment when each of us realized we actually could run and that doing so was a good idea. And what I realized is that although the moment is typically small in scope--a conversation, an offhand comment, or merely admiration for someone--its presence is lasting, its power immense. Because then we somehow get the idea that we're able, the notion that we can do it too. This realization is not limited to running, obviously, but pertains to anything we thought out of reach, anything we thought we just couldn't do. Until we decide we can.
I suppose we could blame our outburst on the vodka tonics, or Makers Mark martinis, or Yuengling. At that moment all of these drinks were fighting for a chance to voice their vehement opinions, their opposition to the idea that our friend is not a runner. I think the real reason for our outburst, however, is that we want her to know the magic of running, know that we believe in her, and know that she can.
Does she know it?
I know we weren't subtle, so I hope so.