In the summer of 2010, right after my Sophomore year at Emerson, I took an internship at a book publishing house in Buffalo. I spent the summer working part time and living on Jon and Ellie's living room futon. They were busy preparing for their wedding and taking care of their new dog, and I was there to help out. It was a lot of fun! One distinct memory I have from that summer was Jon's persistent efforts to get me to start running. I went out with them every now and then, but for the most part I didn't train correctly and my running accomplishments were random bursts of luck, at best. There was one loop we used to do around the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that I always remember for the slight incline that felt like the biggest hill ever.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery
This past weekend I got to visit Jon and Ellie in Buffalo. I flew out on Friday evening after work just for a change of pace. We had tickets to the Bills game on Sunday, and Dave, Brooks, and Brian (of the original two fat nerds) were joining us for the weekend. My flight was nice and quick (about an hour), I landed at Buffalo-Niagara airport just before 7:00. I had a short list of things I wanted to do while in town: watch football, eat chicken wings, and go for a run. So the first thing we did when we got back to the house was put on our sneakers and head out into the night.
Jon and Ellie were very kind in allowing me to set the pace, even though I'm sure they were very bored. We went out and did three miles, a feat I hadn't yet attempted since starting up again in the beginning of October. Jon or Ellie would probably be a better person to talk to about what it has always been like to run with me. I think looking back to last year's Turkey Trot pretty much sums it up. I typically spend the entire run sweating and crying and yelling obscenities while my very patient brother runs along and never stops encouraging me. Given my history, I am surprised they were willing to go out with me at all on Friday night! I guess that's the nice thing about my family--they never give up. I am happy to report that during my three miles, I never said the words, "I can't do this," or "I want to walk," or "Jon, I hate you." I just started running and didn't stop until we had 5k behind us.
We ran the same loop that we did so many times that summer, but it felt so much different. Passing the Albright-Knox, I looked up and noticed how beautiful it looks at night, instead of feeling the hill. This time, it didn't feel impossible, and at the end I didn't feel like I had a million miles in front of me. All of my progress over the past month and a half was made real on this Friday night jog. I was slow, but I did it.