IF you’ve ever had to make the decision to leave home in your life, then you know the obvious things will be missed. Your friends, family, favorite coffee shop & of course your favorite bagel shop. Though, rarely realized what will be missed are your favorite places to run, the views that come along with those favorite paths or roads. While overseas in Afghanistan for the year, living on a compound no bigger than a 1/4 mile wide and access to one road with only so far to run, it was those paths and roads back home that I cherished the most. Nights on the treadmill at 3am during my break for an hour to hit the gym often meant a good playlist (comprised of old tunes of course because well.. wifi not good enough to stream) in my ears but in my head I was home. I was running the National Mall in my head. I wasn't spending the next 25-30 minutes running on a treadmill that could only be described as "shaky" at best. Those moments with eyes wide open, I was home in 30 degree weather running around the city, chasing the sunset to Lincoln in August in 90 degree summer heat. For those next few miles, I wasn't alone. I was stride for stride with my fiance, laughing at ourselves for no reason. I was two steps behind every runner I'd ever ask to meet up with me for a run. When you're 7,000 miles from home, a 3 mile run can be some of the longest miles you'll ever endure.
I've run all over the world from South Korea to London, Paris to Colombia. However no mile or miles I've ever run will ever compare or make me miss home as much as I did, while I was running in Afghanistan. Every single one of those miles, I attached the thought of home. Every single step, stride, sprint and boost of energy came with a memory attached.
Over the course of this 3-part series, I'll be sharing the locations & memories that meant the most to me while away. From those morning, pre-run cups of coffee, the getting ready, of course the miles and the post run snacks, it all played a part. These are the locations and memories that inspired me every single day to keep going.
Miles From Memory.