Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friends Forever

      The day following the marathon the group had a trip to Saxon Switzerland not to be confused with Switzerland the nation. The sandstone mountains where the building materials for many of the structures in Dresden came from. We went by train from Dresden to the ferry across the Elbe to the little town of Pirna. We took in the scenery which included the town hall and parish church built in the sixteenth century. Then we began the hike up the mountain that turned out to be like one of those adventure team building exercises. The trail became single track and to the edge of the river valley we discovered Gloria had a fear of heights. Here came the team building and a new trusting friendship as I got behind her on the steep parts and beside her on the edges holding her hands or hips encouraging her on. Many laughs were shared as we trekked our way over the trail. Jim our eighty three year old member of the Ambassadors was with us also members of the team took turn assisting him over the trail though he was at the back he was never alone. The views from the top were breath taking and easy to understand why this was called the fortress of the Saxon Valley. Many rulers used it as refuge in times of war back to the fifteenth century and the castle across the river served as a high security jail 1870-71 and both world wars. American and British officers were held there in the second world war.
      We ended with lunch back down at the river sharing laughs and memories of the marathon and the days events. Part of the group headed onto the castle and Gloria, her host Peter and myself headed back to Dresden. I made it home to my host family and we went out for dinner to Neustadt (new town) the part of the city that completely burnt down in 1685 and was rebuilt in a Victorian style square. Many numerous "in" bars and trendy restaurants were here which made it a popular place with the students. We toured the Art Passage then went to an Indian restaurant a bittersweet memory as this was my last night with my "family" I have to say I was perfectly matched and made friends for a lifetime. Andreas and I stayed for a couple more drinks at on of the bars then headed home as I had an early flight.
     This trip truly was an ambassadorship between two sister cities, a cultural exchange by a group of runners that became bonded with memories. I have to say this was more than I expected and expanded my expectations of things to do. I want to share this experience with many and take my family back to share in person. Running is truly a gift from God that has become my way to see the world and inspire people to be all they can be. I came to run a marathon left with new friends and experiences that will change my life and hopefully others. Call it your bucket list, I call it your limits they are set by you and should be changed to unlimited. This year I have run a one hundred mile race, an international marathon and who knows what is next. I saw a shirt that said " My running shoes have more miles than your car" I need one that says " My running shoes took me around the world and gained me many friends"

1 comment:

  1. What a great journey this was. Honored to be part of this team of elite runners like yourself. Thanks for the memories. Happy Running to you on the rest of your races.
    Kris Olsen