Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Show Up

Showing up. I know it matters.
For big things and little things. Important occasions and seemingly unimportant ones.
When we show up, we're available for something to happen.

I was out running this weekend and a memory made it's way through my head. The same one that has traversed my mind many times before. Probably because it's kind of like a Hallmark moment now that it's just a rerun.
 It's from a couple of years ago, when my friends and I were doing a run together. I was doing the half-marathon course. But my friends...this was their first full. And that was exciting! And huge! 
So I ran my half and relaxed for a bit before I took off on my second mission. I went into impromptu mode, flagging down a police car and asking them to take me to go find my friend. I had imagined this scene in my head, almost as many times as I'd watched similar ones on the Biggest Loser. You know, the scenes where the final contestants are running the marathon, and they find different loved ones at certain mile markers to join them in their journey. That's what I was off to do, to find one of my best friends and pass a couple of miles with her. I just hadn't thought of details such as how I would find her or how I would get there. Hence the need for the policeman. A few miles up the road I got out and it wasn't long before I saw her running toward me. I remember feeling a little apprehensive. I mean this girl had just run 23 miles and I had no idea what her needs would be. Did she want me to chit-chat with her? Did she just need a silent supporter by her side?
With a few yards between us, our eyes met. Hers immediately welled up and tears started slowly falling. Instinctively I asked her what was wrong, was she hurt, what did she need. But the answer was...nothing. Nothing was a matter. She didn't need anything. She was just glad I showed up.
23 miles of running will do that to you, apparently. The physical exhaustion couples with the emotional exhaustion and an unexpected friend showing up results in tears. And it was a special moment. Because it was just the two of us, no one else in sight, sharing this journey that she had worked so so hard for. We spent the next 3 miles making small talk. 
We are bonded because of these 3 miles. This was something unique, individual, and so not your every day that we shared together. I offered something to her that she couldn't give herself- company. And she let me. She let me in on her journey.
I didn't have to show up. But I am so glad I did. I am more of a person because I did. Our friendship has a lot more meaning because I did. As cheesy as it sounds, my life experience is more because I did.
That's what I was thinking about on my run last weekend. About showing up. And don't worry, I'm not preaching to you. I'm talking to me- the girl who tries to talk herself out of showing up to anything and everything. Literally. Dead serious. Not kidding.
Best Earth Pictures
picture credit
And what happens when I don't show up?
Whether to a kids' ball game or a night out with friends or my own tennis game or the funnest party ever, what happens when I don't show up?
Well, I don't know. Maybe nothing. No big consequences from not showing up.
Except that I'm robbing myself of opportunity.
But when I do choose to show up,
there's at least that opportunity.
To bond, to be enriched, to share, to experience, to feel.
It might not matter if we don't show up, 
but I know this for sure....
It matters when we do show up.
{don't forget to send in pics for Project: Beginning! xoxo}

stalk AGNG:


  1. Love very very true.

    What an amazing friend you were to her. What a great way, to like you said, take it to the next level.

    We don't have to be perfect..just be there. :)


  2. That probably meant the world to her to see you at mile 23.

    You're absolutely right - it might not matter when we don't show up, but it really does make a difference when we do.

  3. This is so awesome. I think you hit the meaning of being a true friend on the nose. Just being present in eachother's lives is so important.

    Well done!

  4. So very true. I am the same way - I hate showing up and most of the time I try to talk myself out of it. Next time I'll remember this and next time I'll try to talk myself out of talking myself not to show up.

  5. I'm the queen of not wanting to do hard things. Which sometimes I know is good for my sanity, but I've also been thinking a lot lately about showing up. This summer i committed to doing better when it comes to family stuff and. Or keep copping out bc I hate road trips with small children. I wanna be the girl that shows up, even if it's hard, just to show I care.

  6. Sigh. I had 2 friends not stay at the finish line of a 1/2 marathon we were all running. I was slower but on this race I got hurt midway through so I walked the rest of the way...I had no choice. I think about that occasionally knowing that they honestly aren't true friends and I wonder if I would have better memories of the race, injury included, if they had stayed. As it is, I think back on it with a bitterness in my mouth. It sucked being injured and not having my running mates at the finish to at least see what happened made me SAD. That being said, I have used that experience to make sure I am always supportive of my friends in their endeavors. Having run 2 marathons, that gesture was small for you but big for her. And I definitely know why that bonded you together. Way to be a good friend.

  7. That wasn't an easy race for you either. It was a tough course and I remember seeing you later that night hobbling around (and laughing at you yelling at Yosh to pay the extra $ to park in a closer lot!) You had just done your 13.1 miles and given everything you had, but you picked it back up and put in another 3 for her. It's been an example that I think about often and hope to emulate.

  8. You guys are sweet. It was a fun day. I try to remember things like this when I want to bail on anything- even if it's just bailing on a 5 minute conversation with yosh before I go to bed. I miss out when I don't show up. I'm sure my friend loved me showing up at mile 23 but it honestly did just as much for me!

  9. Ahh Gay, that moment meant the world to me, I had no idea how much it would mean until I saw you. I kept trying to downplay the event but you would never let me and you showing up was the ultimate way to show me what I was doing was important, hard and meaningful. I will always think about that day with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, love you Gay. You always say you will never run a marathon but at that point it was another 10 miles, what's another 10 miles???


Don't hate. Participate. Conversate.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...