• Valeria Rodriguez

​Open letter to my future Training partner: Thank you, I'm sorry, and I love you.

*As posted in RunSouthFlorida in 2016* Run South Florida Magazine: February Issue Title: Open letter to my future training partner Writer: Valeria Rodriguez With February upon us, I'd like to dedicate this article to my future training partner. Some of you may have already found your solemate, whether it's in fact the person you said "I do " to or not, is besides the point, what matters is that they are THE ONE we say "hell YES" to training with everyday. THANK YOU Thank you for your patience. We may or may not have crossed paths yet, but thank you for being the person who is already inspiring me. I don’t know how we met or where you live (hopefully close, so our training runs are easier to plan), nor do I know the names of your favorite brands for running shoes; Or if you like listening to rap or to alternative; Or if your favorite kind of dessert is anything with peanut butter — like me. Thank you for not giving up on finding me. Perhaps we found each other organically, in one of the thousands of dreams I’ve had of how we could meet. Me casually glancing at the latest pair of adidas boost and you, reaching to pick it up compression socks as we both peruse the same retail therapy habits. Or perhaps you were riding at dusk along the Rickenbacker attempting to catch the sunset over Miami after a long stressful day at work, when you saw me stranded with a flat and came to my rescue. Or maybe we ran into each other at an event neither of us really planned on attending or trained for, but fate led us there. I don’t yet know. Regardless, I’m thankful that our courses crossed. I’M SORRY I'm sorry for my competitiveness, for complaining about missing workouts, and un-matched PRs. I’m sorry for being verbally overly optimistic, but deep down inside being scared shitless of my reality, scared to fail, and even more of performing under my expectations.  I'm sorry for choosing rides and training sessions over brunch. I'm sorry for being hangry most of the time. I’m sorry for having so many social events and conflicts that cause us to constantly adapt our training schedule and location. And lastly, I’m sorry for doubting at times that I’d ever get the chance to meet you. I LOVE YOU I love you for so many reasons that I’ve considered logging them in the 1k Club on Facebook just to keep track. I don’t know you yet, but  I want to know what you love most in this world. I want to know what buttons I can push, how you’ll react when you’re edgy and hangry. I don’t know you yet but know you share my passions (if not we wouldn’t have crossed paths, silly).  I know we will love seeing the sunrise somewhere spectacular, while sweating profusely (regardless of the discipline we chose to take on). I love knowing that if I run out of water, energy, or confidence, you will only be a stride, stroke, or bike-length away.    I do know you but, regardless of where we are or who we become or what happens, I do know I plan to do my best to make you happy every day that we train together.

And here’s how: 1 I will support you. If you fail at a race, workout, or any other activity you attempt (which is to be expected), I won’t put you down or hold it against you. I’ll build you up. I will remind you of the athlete you are, and the athlete you know you are becoming. Together we will keep pursuing our ambitions. 2 I will grow with you. Paths change, interests evolve, slumps happen, and with each year that passes, we advance a little differently. I will grow with you as we grow closer to the things we want out of races, our training sessions, and our life. No matter how much we evolve or how much we change, I’ll strive to make sure it’s with you. 3 I will Inspire you. There is something incredibly special about training with someone who makes you a better person, with their presence alone. Let my achievements inspire you to find your own personal success. I know I will be looking to you for inspiration when i’m struggling. 4 I will Challenge you. Don’t think i’ll be easy to deal with. I already said i’m sorry above. I won’t let you get away with mediocrity or doing the bare minimum. I will challenge you to drop your time, race further, and to aim higher, not because your time or place matter, but because YOU matter most to me; YOU being the strongest version of yourself. You have beat all the standards I have set for training partners and what I look for. Someone who will appreciate everything I have to give and all my energy, dedication, and focus. I kept my standards high for a reason, to find a wonderful solemate like you.Though we may or may not have met yet, know that I've waited for you since I signed up for my first race... and I started running when I was 6, so you do the math. Appreciate the training partners you have in your life and start loving the future partner that may one day come and sweep you off your course and onto a magical and unexpected new path. Life is the most beautiful race we will ever run. Happy Valentine's Friends! ​


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