My friends are superheroes. No, really. I don’t know how else to explain it. When I’m with them, I’m much more capable of taking on a difficult challenge.
Yes, I have my own strength, skills and ability to strive toward a goal. However, when I have that one friend or colleague working side-by-side with me I feel like our desire to be there for each other lifts us both up to be just a little bit better. Together, we are capable of rising to the challenge to go a bit longer, higher and stronger.
For example, I would never have taken on race walking if my friend Linda hadn’t taught me how to do it and then made time and space for both of us to walk together. Linda had started race walking because of an injury that made running a painful and unsustainable endeavor. I was at a point in my wellness journey where I was ready for something more to test out and challenge my “new” body after my weight loss. But I needed to do something that would be okay for my bad knee.
I would never have even thought of race walking if Linda had not been already doing it and offered to teach me and was willing to do it with me around the sidewalks, pathways and the side streets of Keene.
My job was to help us honor our commitment by sending out reminders for our next race walking date. In that way, I helped her hold herself accountable for her own practice. With both of us being busy community people, we are both more likely to show up for each other with one of us putting out the gentle (but firm) reminder.
My newest race walking dynamic duo partner is Champion, Erik Willis. We don’t get a lot of time to practice with each other in person. But we coach each other and geek out on technique, gear, and other resources online and when we meet at races.
We cheer each other on. We push each other to strive for our best. Best of all, we champion each other.