Thursday, November 4, 2010
If any of you are blessed with a training partner, you will understand this post. This is an ode to my training partner (of 14 years or so!) - my sister-in-law, Melissa.
When I first met Melissa, my husband and I were a new couple. He told me about his brother's wife, who was a female Marine. He said he thought I would really like her. Frankly, I was skeptical. I had this picture in my head of a mean old battleaxe with no sense of humor.
Of course, Melissa is nothing like that - she's upbeat and funny and I don't think she's ever met a stranger. I liked her immediately. Here she is in her Marine uniform:
And, when I decided that perhaps the Army Nurse Corps was in my future, it was Melissa who taught me to run. Patiently, one telephone pole at a time (seriously, that's as far as I could run!), sometimes jogging in circles around me so I wouldn't quit, she taught me to run.
Fast forward a few years - Melissa retired from the Marine Corps and I completed my tour with the Army - we found ourselves in the same area again, and started running together again. This time we were more evenly matched, because I'd had a few years to find my running legs. But, life intervened (as it often does), and Melissa sustained a rather serious back injury that required surgical repair. Then I started a demanding graduate school program. And we let running take a back seat to everything else.
So, we both gained weight, although Melissa carries hers much better than I do. Here she is, stylish and chic:
Here I am, sack of potatoes:
And here we are in September after the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville:
And, more recently at the CrossKnox Ten Miler in October:
Can you see the difference? We ran together on Tuesday and, really, Melissa looks like a different person. She is still stylish and chic, but she has lost an amazing amount of weight. I am so proud of her! And, I've lost a few pounds myself, but I still dress like a sack of potatoes. We're almost back to our military levels of fitness, and Melissa is gently pushing me to buy some real running clothes.
So, here's to you, Melissa - because no one else would get up before four in the morning to meet me at the gym. You are an awesome training partner and I am very lucky to have you as a sister-in-law and friend! Even if you are kinda noisy on the run! :)
Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $50
Goal: Unknown (they send out information in February)
Days until our next race: 10