Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Born to Run for the Best Time of Your Life

Some say that high school is the best time of your life. Others will assert that college is the best time of your life. I used to go with the latter – college was the best time of my life. Wake Forest was a place where I found my own new family, completed challenging academic courses, and, of course, ran at the NCAA level. In case you hadn’t noticed, the key word here is “was.”

I’ve decided that while college was a great and memorable experience, my Wake Forest memories are just that – a conglomeration of images and conversations captured in a closed chapter in my book called Life. Of course, the friends that I made during this time will continue to be a huge part of my life, but we’ve all closed the Wake Forest chapter and have moved on to create a new life with new careers and new cities we call home.

Since I am a runner, I put more of my life thoughts together on my workout this morning with Bill and Megan. Megan and I were running alongside each other, stride by stride in lane one of the track. In a way, my legs had carried me back to my glorified memories of Wake Forest, of track workouts done with Merry and Michelle. Suddenly, I was also flashbacking to high school, watching myself run my first track workout of life, with Coach Holda yelling in the background. Before I knew it, another memory flashed before my mental eye: I was running my first Grace Race Fun Run with my dad alongside me to cheer me on every step of the way. The last glimpse into my past was of my tiny legs scurrying to keep up with my parents as they ran point-to-point on a cross country course to cheer on my older sister in the Carbondale Invitational.

For the most part, the best times of my life have always been a direct result of the presence of running in my life. I say “for the most part” because there are times when running seems to make life completely miserable, but this is usually when injury prevents running from even happening. Most of my happy memories have to do with running, whether it is how I met five of my closest friends, or that it’s the reason I still fit in my tight skinny jeans, or that it surrounds me with fellow weird and eccentric people. Running extends itself into all aspects of my life in a way that brings light into my every day.

For this, the best time of my life was the moment that running was intially exposed to me. The most promising part is that the best times continue to come. Thanks mom and dad for running marathons when I was baby because it’s been with me since I was in the womb. :o)

Note: I would also like to point out that you could swap out running and insert any of your favorite sports into this blog. Mostly, I think of Garrett Bullock, aka boyfriend, who quite possibly loves baseball more than I love running. He's been throwing baseballs since he was about two and he continues to pitch in the minor leagues for the Houson Astros organization. Anyone who knows him would know that baseball and his family are the two best parts of his life. I feel lucky to continue to learn from him.


maryanne said...

This is a lovely acknowledgment, Caitliner! I love so many things herein, as you took us readers down Memory Lane, but what made my heart sing was that your passion to develop a running club in Charlotte has led you to partners who match you stride for stride. It is no surprise that your recall surged forth in the fashion you described - yet I must note your stubborn insistence from age four or five to be "just ahead" of every one of us as we family hiked, especially the Cedar Lake or Giant City trails. Perhaps being the one who first saw the vistas that lie ahead is what inspired you to fine tune this gift. I don't know, but Thank You - we sure love being along for the ride.

bruce said...


You are an excellent writer and also excellent choice of photographs to go along with your blog. You should compile your blogs and photos into a book which you can self-publish on Amazon.com.

Love Dad

vlove said...

I love you!!! :) you never cease to amaze me... and that pic is such a winner. eheeheee! ohhhh the memories of spending time with u in our younger years... so many special memories! i love it! and yes, dad's right. u are a great writer! we all need to write books! chrisman love baby!!

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