4 years ago I was introduced to a new organization. A movement that was happening practically in my backyard. An idea created partially by an old friend.
Fellow Flowers was the brainchild of Tori and Mel, as a way to bring women together, a virtual sisterhood for women who run, a place to empower and encourage each other to set goals and reach finish lines (whether it be on a race course or in life!). You can find more about the Fellow Flowers store here. When I first heard of FF, I was instantly intrigued as I have known Tori since she was barely big enough to walk. I graduated from high school with her older sister and her dad was one of my teachers! The more I learned of their story, their mission, I was pulled in! What an amazing idea and even more amazing group of women.
But that’s really not what this post is about to (Although their mission is phenomenal). What I am here to share with you today, is the thanks that I have for what Tori and Mel have created.
Yesterday, I had a memory pop up on my Facebook Memories feed from 3 years ago today. I met Crystal on the course of the Cellcom Half Marathon 3 years ago. What started out as a simple conversation about our flowers, ended up with us running the entire rest of the race together. We realized how close we lived to each other and realized we had just found a new running partner! We started training together a few times a week and even were member of the same gym for a while.
We have shared the finish line for several half marathons, covered countless miles training together and so much more. It was fitting that yesterday we ran our final training run for Cellcom together this year! On Sunday, Crystal will take on the half marathon course again, while I will be toeing the line for the full marathon. And to think… this all started because of a flower!
That also got me thinking… Thanks to Fellow Flowers, I have been blessed with so many new friends, all sparked because of our belief in the Flower!
Aside from my friends that jumped into the FLower mission, i have met so many other amazing women. One of the first other Flowers I met was Kerri… during the Fall 50 back in 2014! We both were running the 1st leg of the relay, on a beautiful fall morning in Wisconsin! We ran into each other a few times that morning at various exchange point. She was running with a group of ladies, all supporting their love of Fellow Flowers!
Over the next few years, I kept running into Kerri at various other events and was introduced to more of her amazing Flower friends, who we I shared many miles with over the last year! This past winter we even shared our Saturday Mornings to get in our miles for the #FFHolidayChallenge! And of course there was coffee, laughs and shenanigans after!
These are some of the same women that helped me get through my marathon training this winter! It takes a special friend to agree to help you get in your 20 miles on a Saturday morning. These ladies are part of the reason that I was able to get in many of my long runs towards my Marathon that I am running on Sunday. The best part? We recruited new Flowers along the way! Thank you ladies for having my back and pushing me to get these miles in over the last few months! You never have to feel alone when there are Flowers around!
I have been blessed to be able to do some traveling for races over the years and it is always awesome to see Flowers, wherever I go! When you see that Flower, you know you found a friend! In fact, one of these new friends that I met while running a half marathon in Minneapolis, was actually from New Jersey! Not only did Tammy help me get through a warm half marathon, but also the 5k that followed it! To this day, Tammy and I remain friends on Facebook and follow each others running adventures.
Tammy is just one of the many amazing Flowers that I have met over the years. I now can say that I have friends across the country because of this movement! I never have to run alone!
That is the amazing things about something as simple as a flower. It is a symbol to women everywhere that you are part of something bigger! Women who are setting goals, motivating each other to achieve them and then crushing them together! It doesn’t matter what your story is, or what color your flower is, as soon as you clip that flower into your hair, you feel like you found your place. You are part of an amazing community that will have your back!
So many of my local running friends have also found “their” color. The flower that has called out to them! We are all out there ,working towards our own goals, running at different paces, and so much more, but we are all united by a common thread… the flowers! Together we can accomplish anything!
To all my Fellow Flowers out there, thank you for everything you do I am glad that each of you are part of my life and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in the future!
To Tori and Mel, thank you for taking a chance in a dream 6 years ago! What you have created goes beyond just a group of women running together! It is a family!