Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


A quiet morning after Daylight Saving has ended at a Starbucks in Bethesda. I come to write and reflect... to slow down. I give myself some time away from my computer, my friends, my normal Sunday hectic routine, to remind myself of the past few days.

I moved on Wednesday morning after suffering through a tremendous breakdown the night before due to the stress I put myself under. I left my apartment, my bed, my comfort, my roommate, in order to find some meaning in my personal life. I crashed so hard from the stress of it all on my office couch but still didn't sleep. I worked straight through the week with meeting after meeting wishing for a reprieve but knowing I needed to keep moving. I finally found that reprieve in the arms of friends on Friday night.

Not long ago, in the age of Jane Austen, people would go spend time with a cousin/sister/friend for weeks or months at a time. They would be integrated into daily life, their hosts would show real hospitality, and always have time and space for their visitors. It would be a celebration to have a guest in your home. Why did we ever stop doing this?

Most of us now don't know our friends.

We know them on the surface because we do happy hour, dinner parties, and sometimes weekends away, but how often do we really find the time to know them? With my two months of walkabout underway, I have had an overwhelming response from friends who want me to come stay with them. I get to go back to Jane Austen times and see how it all worked.

During my first stop of Melanie on the Run, I got to know my friends, Ryan and Jessica. I stayed for two nights in a big comfy bed, was happily greeted (even with dogs!) and was made to feel at home. I got the chance to delve deepter into conversation with them by asking about things I'm learning on my journey and let the conversation flow.

Watching these two interact and be real with me about the intricacies of marriage gave me a sense of peace about marriage. They were candid and so sweet to each other. They agreed and disagreed, added on to each other's thoughts, and worked together sharing their knowledge with me but also what they had a hard time with.

Between breakfast made on Saturday morning, raking leaves in the back yard and a quiet morning to put together their interview, it was relaxing and enjoyable. Jess and I planned to do the Mud Dog Run - Zombie Edition in Frederick & after feeling the chill, I was terrified to go. I kept talking about how I didn't want to get wet and muddy in the cold or how I didn't bring enough clothes or I'd make a decision when we got there. I needed her to talk me into it.

We got there with little time to spare, were a rush to get ready, and hit the back of the pack hearing people exclaim about how cold I must be in my running skirt & tank. (Sorry, David and I have a rule about 40-degree weather). For 3.1 miles, Jess and I were attacked by zombies, had to climb 19 obstacles, and crawl or trudge or slide through mud and water.

My favorite part was when Jess and I took hands to walk through a pond of mud and water so we could keep each other balanced.

I was terrified of falling on my face & I hate being dirty... yet somehow I had a blast. This wonderful friend of mine made sure of it.

Just a few days in and I'm learning already. Learning to ask for help, learning to listen, and learning about my friends.

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