We are just over halfway through the Vancouver Sun Run InTraining and I’ve been struggling with what to write. Nothing about my weekly numbers on their own are going to motivate you to join the InTraining program but let me tell you, that one small choice on your part can change your life. No matter how big or how small, one decision, direction or conversation can change your life. You may not realize it but taking that step to sign up for the InTraining can be the gift that keeps giving! Let me explain.
The last two years training with the Britannia InTraining team with Pepe Duarte leading the pack has given me my health and wellness back. I’ve gained self-confidence and showed my two young girls that no matter how hard it might be; we can do whatever we want to when we truly apply ourselves. This year Britannia gave me back a friend I thought I had lost.
Week 1, everyone gathered in our new room at Britannia with many new faces. This one face stuck out, something about her smile instantly made me feel safe and at home. We knew that we knew each other but were unable to connect the dots.
My new friend Maria had initially signed up for the Hastings InTraining but due to low participation, they joined the Britannia clinic. Week by week, still not truly knowing how we were connected, I simply enjoyed this “new” friendship thinking we would figure it out when we were meant too. Now bear with me a moment.
How we connected the dots on our friendship.
Week 7 with our two usual clinic leaders away, Pepe Duarte the head clinic leader at Britannia lead us on our session 1 run! Pepe, who typically runs the Run10Stronger program pushed us a little bit faster and a little bit further. As we passed Science World, I took in the beauty of the water, the lights, and the crisp winter air.
This tall gentleman came running past us and said, “Good work guys” as my eyes connected with his, I gasped. “I know him,” I said. My mind raced down memory lane as I shared the story with my run group. He was my Fed Ex Guy when I managed the Billabong store on West 4th. Maria gasped and said instantly, “That is how I know you!”
I brushed it off and continued on telling my story of the Fed Ex guy. At that time, I was a smoker and spent much of his drop-off time teasing him about shaving his legs for his crazy physical adventures. As he ran past me, he didn’t recognize me but he sure sent me on a trip.
We continued on our run but my mind was racing, I was hanging at the back of the group mentally putting away the memories of seeing my Fed Ex guy and where I was at that time of my life. That is when I saw her face and it all came rushing back to me, I blurted out to Maria, “you were one of my favourite customers!” Just like that, it all made sense.
A then-pregnant Maria would come into the Billabong store and chat with us girls. Her friendly smile was something that stuck with me always. There was something about her that has just always felt like so safe. We spent many afternoons giggling and enjoying our brief encounters; she truly had become part of my job that I actually loved! From there, I had moved onto a job that would change the course of my life forever leaving behind Maria, not sure if/when I’d ever see her again!
This entire story boils down to the choices we make. Every single choice no matter how big or how small affects us; had we not done that run with Pepe or been 10 seconds slower we may have never been in that exact moment to spot the Fed Ex guy. Maria’s decision to sign up for the Sun Run InTraining this year, Hastings clinic closing and all the other things that fell perfectly into place means that I found that friend that I once adored and missed dearly From day one, the first time, she always felt like home, her kind smile, dry humour and affectionate demeanour is reassurance that good people do still exist.
Whatever happens this year, whether I reach my goal or not, I received an amazing gift from the Vancouver Sun Run and that was connecting with a beautiful soul who brings forth kindness, joy, and true passion for life in all genuineness with 0 strings attached. Just imagine going for the run and coming out with a beautiful friendship, a completed run and a new family to hold you up and love on you when you struggle to love yourself, that is the Vancouver InTraining program for the Vancouver Sun Run!