Sacred Rim Hike

{Entry 1: A week of love. Because my headstone will never read, “We Had No Idea How She Felt.”}

While running this morning with my trusty sidekick Adam, we did as we do: pile out of our cars, complain about the cold, stuff our hands in our pockets, stretch our calves, look to the left at the short path and then to the right at the long path, look to each other with “well, you decide” eyes and went for it. Huffing and puffing down the long route — which isn’t actually very long — we muttered little for the first few minutes. Warming up, our brains slowly kicked into gear, and our hands wiggled out of our pockets, pumping mightily at our sides.

Past the park, along the path in front of the new office buildings and up the hill before crossing the bridge, we ran in silence. Our feet in unison thumping along the path, our breath both a little too ragged from a long, over-indulgent weekend. Past the missing person’s poster sign (for the body they found in the lake last week), up the small hill and over the bridge, we watched as two solo kayakers paddled along. Down the other side of the bridge, through the darkest and scariest part of the winter running routine — coincidentally where it also smells rancid, adding to the Hollywood spooky effect — and up to sidewalk along the other side of the lake, we plodded.

Golfing with the boys

I love this man for a thousand reasons.  Namely, I love that he is always there. Under any circumstance when I’ve ever needed him — be it in a puddle of tears after a break up, at the airport with trunk full of luggage, at a volunteer event with an extra shovel in hand, during “let’s repaint my condo” weekend, with a cold glass of white wine when I’ve had a miserable week, or at the lake for a moment of solidarity in therapeutic running — he is there. And for that rare occasion when he isn’t there, he feels so bad about missing out,  it’s hard to watch.

This morning was no different. There we were, sucking wind and kvetching for the 10,000th time how we both “really, really, really need to start eating better because holy mother of God these runs are so much more difficult when we are fat and hungover” when I realized that it’s these little routines that have painted such a sweet friendship, which most days seems more like family. He and Matty are these tyrant younger brothers who make me laugh harder than I knew possible.

Golfing with the boys

I especially appreciate that when I’m being too hard on myself, he’s also the first to pipe up and say, “Dude. This is no-guilt weekend/Funday Sunday/any random Tuesday. Check your obsessive compulsive at the door and grab me a beer while you’re at it.”

My life is better because he, his family and his gorgeous fiancee Kim are very much a part of it. Family, come to find out, is something you can create for yourself too.