Arete: Behind the Connection

Most of us seek a community in which we truly belong: where we can be fully ourselves while exploring experiences that bring meaning to our lives. On team Arete we strive to create authentic belonging through our shared love of running. We believe that connection to self, team, and community strengthens our relationship with running and to the people and experiences we most value in life.

We believe so strongly in the power of this sisterhood, and here is a look at some of vital pieces of our mission.

Athleticism Doesn’t Age

Soon after Melissa and I decided to move forward and launch a women’s running team, I was so excited and decided to tell a lady at the grocery store whom I vaguely knew.

I blurted, “We’re starting a women’s running team and it’s going to be AWESOME!”

She replied, “Oh, you mean, like for adults?”  

She wasn’t so much critical as she was confused. It was an honest question. The natural course of events is that we participate on teams as children and into adolescence, and some of us are qualified to participate in college. Then unless we’re professionals, the rates of team participation quickly drop post-collegiate.

It seems so silly–so selfish–to join a team. But does it?

While we certainly have more responsibilities as adults and running isn’t our first priority like it maybe was at one time, practicing something that’s challenging and gratifying gives us the confidence and tools to be more present for ourselves and those around us. We aren’t children and we aren’t professionals, but we can still experience the physical, mental and social benefits of team participation, just like when we were kids.

If you want to connect, compete, & feel your heart pulse in the athletic arena, there’s no time like the present to lace up.

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Serious Runners Don’t Have to Take Themselves Seriously

There’s a permeating culture with self-identified “serious runners” where we cross from serious runner to one who takes herself too seriously and can only be around others of the same mindset. Been there. Perhaps it’s the incredible self-discipline it takes to log mile after mile or the natural “type A” personality of many runners. However, the real secret is that nowhere in the non-existent rulebook does it say  taking yourself seriously will make you a faster runner, and you certainly won’t enjoy yourself in the long run. Hello burnout.

When we envision Arete, we like to take the long view. Some of us are out to reach lofty athletic goals, but more importantly, we see how being a part of a suppoteam enhances our lives now and in the long run. Give us the goal chasing and give us the team that cares about the whole person in each chapter of her life. Tackling personal records as an upstart 20 something, finding joy and challenges in each race as newer runner, or discovering new comfort zones as a masters runner. We may enter dozens of chapters in our running lives, so it’s vital to create a team that supports each of our  running journeys with dignity.  We would argue that because of this approach our teammates get the most out of their running in a sustainable way. We honor humor and a sense of running for something bigger than ourselves. In the end we believe this philosophy enhances our goals and builds us into passionate lifelong runners.

Courage is Contagious

When you have a group of women stepping into a supportive athletic space, you see courage everywhere. A woman chasing elite times because for her that’s what showing up for herself means right now.  A woman using the space during a long run to share about the pain of her divorce. A woman detailing her vulnerability in showing up for an interview. A woman who feels immediate sense of lightness and ease in the space of teammates. In each of these stories, and so many others, we weave the common thread of courage. We listen and support the women in our time together. The more we build each other up through the miles and through our unique stories, the more we feel compelled to step into and honor our own stories.

Inextricable Connection

While we love a good hashtag and social media presence, at the end of the day, we’re all about live connection. That’s where the real love happens. Getting through the tough workout together. Showing up at race day right next to your teammate who you know made it through the recent training run with newfound confidence. The best latte in town after a tempo run. We know that on any given Saturday morning we have teammates to share the trail, and in another city nearby, we have more teammates doing the same. We will continue to work diligently to build a team of women who listens, keeps each other accountable, and shares the tough times and the glory days, one mile at a time.

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