"Running is Hard." These words come out of my mouth at least 3 times a week. And yet, despite that, every week I lace up my shoes and love every single second I spend with Cascade Run Club.
Let me give you a little bit of background info about myself - I’ve been running as a part of a team since I was 13 years old and my relationship with running has seen some extreme highs and some extreme lows as it’s developed.
I ran on the track team in middle school, high school and during my undergrad at Seattle University. Throughout my entire competitive track career I was a sprinter and a long jumper. To me, running was the 100m dash or my 97-foot long jump approach and I thought distance running was 1 lap on the track. After graduating, I tried and failed to "learn to run for real" twice before giving up due to injury or lack of motivation. Never in my life did I think I would end up being a part of a running community or learning to love running, but choosing to get involved with Cascade Run Club changed all of that.
How could you NOT want this jacket?!
So why did I join Cascade Run Club? I get asked this question a lot - and if I'm being completely honest, I wanted their team jacket.
But I think the more important question is: "What makes Cascade Run Club Special?" This is the hardest and easiest question to answer. There are a million reasons why this club is special and different from any other group or team I’ve ever been a part of.
This group brings together people in all different stages of life, with countless unique experiences, who all started running for vastly different reasons. For some, it’s a way to stay in shape; for others, it’s a social activity; and for others still, it's the perfect combination of physical and mental therapy. However, there is one common theme is present throughout the group; no matter why we started running, running has become a part of our personal identity.
all rolled into one."
This special connection is what makes Cascade Run Club more than just a running group. It’s teammates, it’s friends, it’s family all rolled into one. Everyone here has their own goals they’re working towards, but they celebrate the successes of others even more than their own.
I can honestly say this is the most welcoming group of people I have ever met. This team took me in from day one. By the end of the first week of practice, I felt like I was fully immersed in their community and now it feels like I’ve been a part of this group forever.
Fast-forward to one year later and this team has made running a permanent piece of my life and I've made countless lifelong friendships along the way. They have been there to drag me to the finish each of my new longest runs. They cheered for me when I finished my first road race. They supported me through the worst month of my life when I lost 3 family members in 4 weeks in the middle of grad school finals week. They have made me laugh until I cried and my stomach hurt. They have helped me become excited about running again. And they have successfully peer pressured me into agreeing to train for a half marathon.
Running is still hard. But this team makes every step worth it.