Friday, May 13, 2011

Fit-Ink, Meet FFCheer

Remember how excited I was to spread the Luna Love last spring? Probably not, because shortly after sharing my elation, the local Luna group was stopped dead in its tracks. I'm not here to gripe and whine about the long lost Luna Chix I was supposed to be a part of last year instead of the Lone Luna I actually was--I'm not going to even try to explain.

So Fit-Ink (that means you, dear readers), I want you to meet FFCheer. Call it my 2011 obsession, this is one running team that's going to exceed my expectations. I've applied and been accepted to teams that either disbanded before my eyes or were national, which really meant a lot of me doing my normal Chicago activities and then reporting back to the group. But when I read about FFCheer, before it had an official name and was simply called Fleet Feet's Cheer Team, I was immediately intrigued. On screen it sounded similar to the other teams but the first group meeting proved otherwise. And that's a good thing.

If I wanted running buddies, I found them. If I wanted to learn more about a race, I had advisers. If I wanted to hear about first-time race experiences and personal bests, I could. If I wanted to know more than two people (as I did at three Fleet Feet/Nike hosted fun runs I attended in the last year), I would. If I wanted injury recovery stories and encouragement--and get talked out of the things I'd likely attempt when I knew I should be taking it slow--I got them.

Yes, this is a shameless plug for my new running team, but it's because it's more than being about the racing. I didn't know it until recently, but Fleet Feet promotes a statement that all of us who are part of FFCheer stand for: running changes everything. As the phrase implies, running's not just about racing, besting your time on the clock and logging miles. It's finally starting to click in, or maybe I just forgot after countless races in the last decade (more if you count the 5Ks I ran before I started marathoning), that running's almost more about the social aspect and interaction. FFCheer will remind me, and likely make me better at it, too, from the roads all the way back to my computer.

So if you see me write #ffcheer on Twitter or if you stumble upon, this is my explanation. Still confused? Click here to read more. Oh, and see that funky graphic next to #ffcheer in the photo? Give your best guess as to what it might be--it's emblazoned on the tees and hoodies we've sported since the Ravenswood Run on May 1. I don't know either, but your guess could help you (or me, depending on the details) win a TBD contest down the road.

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