As I prepare to head back to Memphis today, it makes this past week in Zionsville feel only like a mini-vacation. But I know when I drive over that Arkansas bridge tonight, I’m just a visitor. Just a visitor, but am forever grateful for what this city gave to me.
Starting in 2006, the walls of Williford at Rhodes College gave me my first home away from home. I made friends, found sisters, drank too much, slept too little, studied too much, slept too little and found some footing on my own.
I cried when my family left me but quickly found a new family in my basketball teammates and Chi Omega sisters.
In 2008, I hung up my high-tops and found InsideOut Gym as my tiny escape from the Rhodes “bubble”. I spun, rowed, lifted and boxed. And quickly found another family in the staff and members. Later that year, I ran my first marathon.
I continued to explore the world of fitness, branching out into teaching and working at the desk. I even “trained” some friends at the Rhodes gym in preparation for big events like spring breaks and weddings.
I lived in my first “big girl” house, learning the joys of house parties and burglaries (RIP Guitar Hero).
I learned how to run. And then how to race. Getting second place in my age group in the Road Race Series, and a PR in the St. Jude Half Marathon.
I fell in love here. With a boy. With the river. With the city. With running. With the south. With my girlfriends. And I am forever grateful to my Memphis people who taught me a thing or two, hugged me when I needed it, bought me a drink, took me on the best date of my life, and shared the love of this city with me. You’ve got a lot to be proud of, don’t let Forbes or TJ Simers tell you otherwise.
Memphis and Midtowners, InsideOut Members, Owners, Staff and Instructors. Grizzlies, The Mississippi, Rhodes, Trezevant, Harbert. Thank you!
What about your city are you thankful for?