You know that question, if you could have lunch with anyone past, present, or future, who would it be? Well, I’m actually going to be having lunch with my person in less than 2 weeks. At various junctures in my life, I would answer this question differently, but at this point, I would want to have lunch with Kristin Armstrong, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
She is the person that I name in my “About” page; she is a runner and a writer that I have been following for the past few years. Her book, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, has been the holy book in my nightstand. I eagerly wait for her weekly blog post to be released, and she has been the inspiration for starting this blog.
Kristin was introduced to me by my good friend and sole-sister Katie. When I first started running, Katie sent me a text with a picture of the cover of Kristin’s book, and that was the beginning of my STALKING of Kristin’s WORDS; highlighting them, sharing them, memorizing them, printing them, living them, and running with them parading through my mind. And now, interestingly, Katie is the one who asked me a few months ago would I consider traveling for a women’s retreat weekend to meet Kristin Armstrong. Yes, yes, yes…I don’t need to know the details; sign me up.
I’ve been thinking about this meeting for the last month, about how grateful I am that I am going to have this opportunity. I thought that I should actually write down my thoughts BEFORE the retreat. As I’m getting older, I’m more aware that not everything is certain. Katie and I have booked our plane tickets and hotel, and everything is set, but you never know. Something could happen that would cancel our trip. A child could get sick….we have 7 between the 2 of us….
As I started meditating about our trip, meeting Kristin, and my feelings about it, I realized that it DOESN’T even MATTER if it happens or not.
In trying to write down my thoughts about Kristin, my mind keeps coming back to how fortunate I am to have a friend like Katie.
Let me attempt to use words to describe Katie.
Katie is the girl who can throw together a theme party in no time while shuffling her 4 kids to 12 different activities. She is the girl who is simultaneously reading 6 books and 30 blogs, and forwarding you only the best entries to read because things remind her of her friends and she is always thinking of them.
She is the girl who has friend A and friend B, and decides to introduce them to each other because she knows they’d hit if off. If friend A and B are now closer to each other than to her, then she is happy – she’s not jealous or possessive with her friends.
She is the girl that you text or email with anything, and she always responds back. She is the girl who ANY thought or idea that you run by her, she gives an enthusiastic “awesome, you should do it!”
When you call her and say that you have decided to run your first half-marathon and you think she should do it with you, not only does she say yes, but she also recruits ten other virgin momathoners to join you. Never mind that she is juggling 4 kids and in the middle of a move, changing school districts, and a renovation; she figures out a way to make time to train and run your first race with you.
She is the first to host a Cabi or Stella and Dot party to support her friends on their new ventures. She’ll throw together an outfit out of nothing; make an impromptu lunch into an occasion by setting out beautiful napkins and a bottle of chilled white wine.
She is the girl that reads every one of your posts and UN-objectively praises every one. Maybe it’s because she is still in mom mode of praising her children, or maybe it’s because she knows that even as an adult, when you’ve started something new that you are unsure about, it’s still nice to get a little gold star on every paper you hand in.
She is the girl that you keep trying to THANK for pushing and supporting and inspiring you, and she WON’T accept your thanks, and just says, “It’s all you.”
She is the girls’ girl that every woman should have at least one of in her life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still as excited to meet Kristin as the 12 year-old me would have been to go see John Taylor in a Duran Duran concert, which I never got to do. Every time I think about meeting Kristin, I have an internal squeal and freakout. I hope that I don’t turn into a basket-case, and that I can be fully present during the experience. But if by any chance the lunch doesn’t happen, what MATTERS and what I am grateful for is that I have Katie as my friend.
And as for Kristin, well I’ve already met her through her words: “Running is a generous friend. When I’m sick she gives me wellness. When I’m tired she gives me energy. When I’m confused she gives me clarity. When I’m lonely she gives me community. When I’m anxious she gives me peace. When I doubt myself she gives me confidence. When I’m sad she gives me comfort. When I’m weak she gives me resilience. When I’m lost she gives me direction. When I’m overwhelmed she gives me one mile at a time. When I’m playful she gives me adventure. When I’m restless she gives me a challenge. When I’ve lost my appetite for life, she makes me very hungry. When I have trouble sleeping, she wears my ass out. When I’m ungrateful, she shows me nature and reminds me of all that is good.” Kristin Armstrong