Joe Chamberlain and I became friends through our love of running. Trail running to be more specific. I've known Joe for about three years now. Joe was in from Indiana visiting his sister this past weekend and joined some of us for a run at Government Canyon State Natural Area Saturday. It pleased me that folks in our group remembered him from a couple of years ago when he visited and came out to Bandera with us. Joe appreciated it too.
Sunday Joe and I went out to Friedrich and capped the morning with breakfast and beer at the Blue Star brewery in Southtown. All the while Joe kept commenting on what a great running group we have. How we are all welcoming and genuinely nice folks. He gladly and excitedly took a Rockhopper decal for his car. Joe had many questions about the people who are in our group.
I was happy to tell him that the best thing about us is how we support each other. Many of us like to share our experiences and accomplishments after we race but more than that we enjoy celebrating our fellow Rockhopper's successes. Whether one of us finishes in the top ten, middle of the pack, or guts it out to the finish under the wire, we are there for them and put them on a pedestal for admiration. It's how we roll. I told Joe that is what makes our group a wonderful bunch.
To me the best thing about running is all the great people you meet, friends you make, and experiences you share with those friends. It made me happy describing people like Chris who with his boyish loud tone asks questions about YOU, can point out your shortcomings while making us all laugh, Liza who can run with the elites and still hangs with us on training runs, The legend who walks his dog in training but knocks out hundred milers, Connie, Jean and Anabel with their constant smiles, John the reserved rational thinker who nevertheless likes to go off the trail exploring, Tom with his quick wit and crazy playlist, Lalo who pushes the envelope and entices you to go with him, How Amanda looks as pretty after a hundred miles as she does at the start, Rachel the Honey badger who DOES give s&!t but never blows her own whistle, Brian the Paul Bunyonesque gentle giant, Joe T. always excited and ready to go! The Navajo, The Ghost, Sexy, The Spleens! all the pretty girls! I can go on and on.
I said to Joe, We are the Rockhoppers. And we are one.
"You guys have a great group," -Joe Chamberlain