It feels so good to finally have written all of my Nuun Hood to Coast recaps. The weekend gave me a lot of time to reflect on my experience and seeing the journey in words on a screen really gave me a new perspective. I know I included a lot of mundane and seemingly minute details but I wanted to document everything so I could look back on it.
Looking back on the trip and after coming back to Knoxville and getting back in the swing of things of a new school year, I thought a lot about my trip. I shouldn’t venture to say that I have regrets at all, just things I would have done differently.
I did not get a chance to bond with most of the women. We were thrown into a huge group of people that we only knew based upon what we saw on the internet. That, to me, was very intimidating. I’m fairly shy at first and have some trouble opening up when I feel vulnerable in certain social situations so I kind of kept to myself during the trip. I talked to my hotel roomies a lot but I think it is because two of them were moms and had more life experience and understood more of why I shut down.
I’m not an alcohol drinker so I was usually the only one without a beer in my hand which left me feeling out of place. Plus, we were all female running bloggers. I am a female (duh) so I had that in my favor. But my blog is not big, popular, or even widely read but I am a blogger. And I was definitely the bigger girl of the bunch which took away some of my self esteem even when I knew it shouldn’t. After a few tearful phone calls back home to my sweet boy I had the confidence I needed to get through the relay. Standing out was definitely my biggest concern and worry during the weekend and it should not have been. But at the end of the day I am a runner. I may not be a fast runner or a competitive runner but I am a runner and I deserved to be there.
Looking back I feel as though I sort of came off as rude or ungrateful and that is the last thing I wanted to do. I was extremely thankful to be there and be a part of such an awesome community, I just wish that my personality could have reflected that better. I did not get a chance to bond with my vanmates like I had expected to but like Harmony said in her recap, everything happens for a reason.
Speaking of Harmony, she was one of the nicest ladies I met while there and even though we didn’t talk a whole lot in the van, I think we had this underlying and unspoken vibe that we both felt the trip. She’ll probably never know how grateful I was for her friendship and guidance during the trip.
Towards the end I ended up talking to Jocelyn and Steph some and they made me feel a lot more comfortable. Overall I have no regrets but there are definitely things that I would/will do better next time. I will not be inside my little turtle shell, I will make it a point to have a meaningful conversation with everyone there, and I won’t be so guarded.
Again, thanks to Nuun for an amazing trip and wonderful memories.