On being a (former) runner

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

I felt like an archeologist last week when a friend showed me a well-worn  copy of a magazine article I’d written that, for some reason, he had been saving for years. It had been published in Runner’s World. As I re-read my guest column, it hit me that this was back in the publication’s heyday of iconic writers (all men) like marathoners Amby Burfoot, and Joe Henderson, and Dr. George Sheehan, before the magazine published its Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running, and almost 20 years after I had first taken up distance running myself.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 7.10.19 AMWhile revisiting this essay I’d written, I was struck by its over-arching theme of loss. It’s a universal concept common to both heart patients mourning their loss of “normalcy” and to former distance runners mourning their loss of identity as runners. 

I used to be a runner, but I’m no longer a runner now. This was how I told Runner’s World readers my story of that surreal transition:  Continue reading “On being a (former) runner”

How our girlfriends can help us get through the toughest times

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Here’s the difference between men and women. Some years ago, a couple we knew announced that they were getting a divorce. We were gobsmacked! None of our friends had seen this announcement coming from what appeared (to us) to be one of those “perfect” couples. The day we heard their news, it happened that our friend Paul was scheduled to go on a long day-hike in the mountains with the soon-to-be-single husband, just the two of them. At the end of that day, Paul’s wife waited impatiently for his return to hear the scoop about the split. When he finally arrived home, she asked him:

“Well? Well?  What did he say?”

“What did he say about what?” asked Paul.

“The DIVORCE! What did he say about the DIVORCE?”

“Oh,”  he replied. “It didn’t come up.”

It didn’t come up?  It didn’t come up?  Can you imagine two close women friends hiking together for hours and the most important personal crisis of the decade “doesn’t come up”?   It would never happen. And here’s why:  it turns out that when emotions and feelings are running high, women actually respond with a neurochemical reaction that propels us to seek out our women friends to debrief what is happening to us. Continue reading “How our girlfriends can help us get through the toughest times”