I was bamboozled. Hoodwinked. Tricked. Misled. My birthday was July 8, so I thought that my parents, brother, and husband were taking me out to dinner. I was also led to believe that I had invited two friends who live in Kansas City to join us, and that I had picked the restaurant.
Boy, was I wrong. Apparently, a surprise party had been in the works for at least a month. Scott had enlisted the help of a college friend of mine to spread the word among fellow cross country alumni and invited several close friends from high school. This college friend (who will remain nameless to protect her identity due to her surprising capability for sneakiness) even knew to play along when I invited her and her husband out to dinner with the family. “Are you sure? On your birthday? Is it supposed to be just a family thing?” Oh, I fell for it. And when I walked unsuspecting into Buca di Beppo (great name, even better food), there were nearly 30 of my closest high school/college friends waiting for me. It was the surprise of my life, and such fun to catch up with some ladies (and gents) I haven’t seen in years.
As I was introducing all the PSU alums to my brother, my friend D got a kick out of how I was going about it. Sure, I could have said, “Physical therapist, physical therapist, teacher, doctor, psychiatrist, stay at home mom, computer programmer,” but I didn’t. Instead, and despite the fact that we’ve all been “retired” runners for at least 3 years, it was—”3000/5000, marathoner/future triathlete, steeplechaser, 800/1500, national champion, that one who had surgery on her knee and was all-conference 2 weeks later…” Even though I keep up with the “real life” happenings of my teammates, I still instinctively think of them as runners. I really don’t think that’s such a bad way to be introduced, either. I wouldn’t be ashamed to be known as my running self. “Yeah, that’s Megan, she’s a state champion, went to Nationals in DII a couple of times. I think she holds the record for most jelly beans eaten before a race. Remember her?” Of course, I’m not ashamed of my normal self, either: “That Megan girl? She’s a writer, for some reason decided she needed TWO English degrees, kind of quirky, seems obsessed with this blogging thing.” 🙂
The birthday surprise, needless to say, was the highlight of our visit for me. It was a great (if tiring) trip, but it’s nice to be back home, too. My running was suffering from all the changes to routine. I got in a couple of workouts, but had more days “off” than “on.” That’s ok. I still got in more miles than Running Buddy. 🙂 I’m pretty sure that’s how I “motivated” her from a different time zone. She probably didn’t think I’d run at all while I was on “vacation,” and when she heard differently during a phone call it awakened her competitive nature. We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program, RB. Have no fear. We’ll be out on the squishy trail complaining about the humidity in no time!