April 6, 2011 by Chloe Lewis
Imagine a perfect day in Williamsburg: sunshine, 75 degrees, all of your best friends having a delicious green beverage at the College Deli celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Probably couldn’t get much better, right? It’s second semester senior year and life is amazing. WRONG. It DOES get better. On that fateful day I got a call from a specific 212 area code that alerted me of my acceptance to The New School of Drama to receive my Masters of Fine Arts in theatre performance. Getting this phone call was one of the most incredible moments of my life. Everyone was sitting outside on the porch at College Deli and they were completely silent while I took the call, once I told them I got in there was an absolute uproar in the restaurant and I almost felt bad for the person on the other end of the phone. But who cared? I just got into graduate school!
For those of you that don’t know, I spent the first four weekends of the semester traveling all over the country auditioning for different graduate programs at schools like Yale, NYU, Columbia, and of course The New School. I even auditioned for different summer festivals in hopes that I would have something concrete to do after graduation. I would not have had the confidence to go into my call back rounds for schools without the help of the professors in the theatre department at William and Mary. Their willingness to help me was outstanding. They would meet with me to go over major issues with monologues and even really simple things like finding the breath in a sonnet. I am in such debt to them, and owe the fact that I have a future, (at least for the next three years), entirely to them. I’m happy to announce to the blogosphere that I will be attending The New School in the fall. Hey, with an incredible reputation and recent alumni like Bradley Cooper and Jesse Eisenberg, maybe I have a shot at making some money some day! At least I’m in a position to do so now.
I’m writing this blog not only because it has been a while since I wrote to all of you, but also because just last week acceptance letters went out to students all over the world. I want to be among the first to say, “Welcome to the Tribe!” But I also want all of the new students to realize that even though I am leaving in just a few short months, you are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I can enjoy the acceptance into my graduate program just as you can enjoy your acceptance to the College of William and Mary. I honestly cannot believe how fast these four years have gone. But I can truly look back and say that I do not regret a single moment. I will cherish every excitement, let down, breakup, new friend made, good grade, (and bad), performance, rehearsal, learned line, and everything else in between. Because not only have I accomplished more than I ever thought I would in four years, I know that I will leave William and Mary proud of who I am and the woman it has shaped me into. Welcome to the Tribe new readers. I’ll write again soon!
December 29, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Hello readers! I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, as always, not without just cause! I promise you that much. It is tough to keep you all updated when there is literally SO much going on! Senior year is no joke, my friends.
Okay, let’s get rolling. This semester I had the pleasure to play Sarah in Alan Ayckbourn’s, “Table Manners.” It was the first main stage production of the year, and if you logged onto mywm, I’m sure you got a lovely view of my face in close up with a head full of curlers! It was an incredible production to be a part of, directed by the one and only Christopher Owens. We also were lucky enough to have his wife, the talented Tamara Johnson, as our dialect coach. Yes, the entire play was done with British accents. Find me on campus and I promise you mine is pretty spot on! We played to sold out audiences over parents weekend, and I’ve attached some photos from one of our press shoots for your viewing pleasure.
If you follow me at all on facebook, you might also know that I was in a movie this semester. But if you don’t, I WAS IN A MOVIE! Okay, it wasn’t the worlds biggest part, and I might have only had to sing and not actually say any lines. But I did get to have the opportunity to watch stars from Gossip Girl, Bones, and Law and Order strut their stuff. Learning from them, and learning the ins and outs of how a movie is made was awe inspiring. It was really fascinating to be a part of a production and learn just how long it takes to get it right. (It’s a long time.) So, lesson learned, patience is a virtue in this business, and I’m glad I learned it early on. It was an incredible experience, and I got to film the movie in Richmond, Va with a fellow W&M student and theatre major Francesca Chilcote. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime to film my first movie with. Hollywood, here I come!
Other than that, I have been working really hard to get all my auditions ready for graduate schools. I am applying to seven, yes seven, schools; which means seven different auditions. Oy vey. I’m tired just thinking about it! But with the help of theatre professors Christopher Owens and Richard Palmer, I have my monologues picked, and applications turned in early. There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but the fact that professors were so willing to help me with everything from monologue selection, to editing my personal statement, to giving me tissues when I got overwhelmed with the prospect of actually having to graduate, really made me appreciate the school and department I have spent the last three and a half years at.
A whole semester has gone by, and I can’t believe I didn’t update you sooner! The New Year is upon us. I will be back to write about (hopefully) triumphant auditions, and much more exciting opportunities that are ahead. One semester left, and I already don’t want to leave.
Happy New Year!
August 15, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Once again, I apologize for my absence. I assure you though, it was not without just cause. These last five weeks I have been participating in an intensive improv comedy workshop at the iO theatre in Chicago. For those of you not familiar with improvisational comedy, the iO and the Second city are the foremost training and performance centers for comedy in, well, the world. They are home to greats like Tina Fey, John Belushi, Tim Meadows, Steve Carrell, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Amy Pohler, and the list goes on and on. Charna Halpern and Del Close created the Improv Olympic together and also created the long form improv style called the “Harold.” They are known for creating and training the careers of many, if not all, of the members of Saturday Night Live, including my personal favorite, Gilda Radner. In short, I literally spent my summer star struck. Just kidding, but taking this opportunity gave me the ability to train from the best of the best.
So, the summer intensive. What is it? It’s a five week crash course through all of the levels offered in training at the iO and Second City. I have had some truly incredible teachers along the way, including William and Mary alum Todd Edwards, ’97, who is living, performing, and teaching improv comedy in Chicago, Andy St. Clair, an alum of the Second City Mainstage, Jet Eveleth, and Craig Ulihr. Now, I have never done any improv comedy before, except for a little in acting class, nothing serious. I had no idea that there were rules, forms, games, and mannerisms to the craft that had to be incorporated into the scenes you were performing. So you can imagine that on the first day when I walked into the iO and stood on the Del Close stage, I was totally freaking out. I learned improv on the same stage that Chris Farley once stood, the same stage that my absolute idol Tina Fey once drew laughs. Being the great teacher and awesome W&M grad that he is the last thing that Todd Edwards told us as we left for class every day was that we should soak up every moment and remember how special we are to have been chosen to participate in this workshop. We should always remember that we are learning among the best of the craft, and in short, walking with giants. What a cool feeling, right?
This workshop also had its perks. I got to see every iO show and most Second City shows for free. So as you can imagine I took full advantage of every show I could possibly see. Which means I saw a ton of shows, standup, long form, short form, and sketch comedy this summer. At one point I was averaging an eight pm and a ten pm show every single night. Outrageous, I know, but awesome. They tell you in the workshop that one of the best ways to learn is to watch, so you better believe I did a TON of watching. One of my favorite shows, and one that I quickly became a frequent watcher was the Cook County Social Club. The show is super well known in the improv comedy world, having performed all over the country at countless festivals and corporate events. Two of the shows members are even Virginia school alums. One from Virginia Tech, and Greg Hess, class of 2003, is a William and Mary alum. You better believe I felt at home with all the William and Mary alums at iO! I even had the opportunity to take a workshop with the Cook County Social Club, and learn from Greg the tricks of their groups particular form. It was great to learn from a William and Mary Alum, it felt like I had an instant friend in a sea of funny people. If you get the chance to see these guys perform, DO IT. They are hysterical. You can even catch Greg in one of the photos up on the wall in the Market Place. What a celebrity.
As for me? Will I head back to school next week ready to try out for IT (the improv group on campus), or 7th Grade Sketch Comedy? Maybe, I definitely feel armed with an arsenal of information and five weeks worth of practice and comedy knowledge. There are some seriously funny people at William and Mary, as evidenced by the William and Mary community represented in the comedy world here in Chicago. Maybe someday I will get the chance to walk among them. Here’s to a great senior year! Holy cow!
July 16, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Hello team! I know that it has been a little while since I have updated this awesome blog that you all read so religiously, quote, my hilarious Improvisational Theatre member roomie, Maggie Seegers. I do, in fact, have good reason for my absence. Since my last post, I have uprooted my comfy existence to sweltering Williamsburg to commence rehearsals for the show that I will be performing this summer at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C.. It has been a time consuming, emotionally intense, and fun experience. I honestly can NOT believe that I am actually getting paid to do what I love! Well, I can believe it, but I’m so honored to say I’m living my dream! Okay, enough with the cheesy emotional mumbojumbo that I love so much. Time to get down to the real reason I’m writing: COOKING.
Okay, I know what you are thinking. If you know me, you know I live off of Phyllis’s amazing omelets at the Sadler Center, or the delicious soups in the Dodgeroom. But since I have been in Williamsburg there is one thing that I have learned: actors LOVE to eat. A lot. We are just like athletes, we need fuel to get us through the 10 am to 6 pm rehearsals. Or in the case of the Virginia Shakespeare Festival actors that are here, 1pm to 10pm rehearsals. Either way, there is a lot of energy expended every single day…which has got me thinking…who needs the gym? Okay, maybe I need the gym sometimes, but this summer I’m totally into cooking. I’ve got a ton of food allergies, so it’s tough for me to cook the conventional college dishes like pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But the selection in Williamsburg for people with food allergies is actually really fantastic! Last night I found ingredients to make a vegan gluten free spinach and soy cheese pizza. Don’t knock it till yah try it! It was totally delicious. I have also found that in the summer time here it is blisteringly hot outside, so people are more likely to come inside when there is a) air conditioning, and b) food. Tonight I’m cooking sun dried tomato risotto and sauteed peppers, I can’t wait. Almost every night there have been at least four of five members of my cast, and sometimes some Virginia Shakespeare cast members present to cook, talk, discuss art, music, and politics, and enjoy good food. It literally has been everything I thought college would be when I was applying!
So who knows readers, maybe I’ll become a total foodie next year, or a chef, or maybe I’ll give up this whole acting thing forever! Just kidding. But seriously, I have loved cooking more this summer and it is really something that I hope to do more of next year.
July 6, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
It has been four long weeks since I have written…probably longer, but I haven’t checked the date of my last post, so let’s go with four weeks, shall we? Anywho. Today was my very last rehearsal for my show that heads up to D.C. tomorrow and opens on Friday. Can you believe it? This Friday at around 11 p.m. I will officially be able to say that I have joined the ranks of the professional theatre world. Granted the pay isn’t very good, the hours and rehearsals are rough, but the people and experiences are amazing. I can honestly say that I have never been more proud to be a part of the cast I’m a part of, more humbled than to work with the incredible director and professor Laurie Wolf, and never more excited to open a show. The rehearsal process was quick, intense, and pretty emotional. While the show deals with some difficult topics, I think that it is a socially important topic and deals with some very real issues. So, if you are in the D.C. area feel free to check it out! Just head to www.capfringe.com, and search for “Santa’s Helper.”
Other than my rehearsal for my show, I have to totally admit that Williamsburg in the summer is WAY too much fun. Coming from Chicago I was expecting heat stroke and mosquitos that I could hitch rides on, but boy was I wrong. Okay, so I’ve gotten the occasional mosquito bite, but I have also had the time of my life. It seems like every other night there have been members of my cast, members of the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and some other summer residents who come in and out for big potluck meals, movie nights, board game nights, and just general hang outs. I’ve gone to the beach more times than I can name, complete with floaties bought from Walmart to enhance our river experience. Last night Brian Focarino and I watched the movie “Shutter Island,” on Jamestown field. Nothing like a hot night and a REALLY scary movie to put you in a good mood. And what would this blog post be without a mention of the INCREDIBLE fireworks on the fourth of July? Truly. They were absolutely spectacular. I totally love this town in the summer and will be sad to have to move onto D.C. tomorrow. Well, sad and excited. One journey is ending and another one is beginning. Next time I write, I will officially be a professional actress!
So, see you in D.C. readers. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as my cast takes the nations capital by storm with our powerful little show.
June 29, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Hello team! I know that it has been a little while since I have updated this awesome blog that you all read so religiously, quote, my hilarious Improvisational Theatre member roomie, Maggie Seegers. I do, in fact, have good reason for my absence. Since my last post, .I have uprooted my comfy existence to sweltering Williamsburg to commence rehearsals for the show that I will be performing this summer at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. It has been a time consuming, emotionally intense, and fun experience. I honestly can NOT believe that I am actually getting paid to do what I love! Well, I can believe it, but I’m so honored to say I’m living my dream! Okay, enough with the cheesy emotional mumbojumbo that I love so much. Time to get down to the real reason I’m writing: COOKING.
Okay, I know what you are thinking. If you know me, you know I live off of Phyllis’ amazing omelets at the Sadler Center, or the delicious soups in the Dodgeroom. But since I have been in Williamsburg there is one thing that I have learned: actors LOVE to eat. A lot. We are just like athletes, we need fuel to get us through the 10 am to 6 pm rehearsals. Or in the case of the Virginia Shakespeare Festival actors that are here, 1pm to 10pm rehearsals. Either way, there is a lot of energy expended every single day…which has got me thinking…who needs the gym? Okay, maybe I need the gym sometimes, but this summer I’m totally into cooking. I’ve got a ton of food allergies, so it’s tough for me to cook the conventional college dishes like pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But the selection in Williamsburg for people with food allergies is actually really fantastic! Last night I found ingredients to make a vegan gluten free spinach and soy cheese pizza. Don’t knock it till yah try it! It was totally delicious. I have also found that in the summer time here it is blisteringly hot outside, so people are more likely to come inside when there is a) air conditioning, and b) food. Tonight I’m cooking sun dried tomato risotto and sauteed peppers, I can’t wait. Almost every night there have been at least four of five members of my cast, and sometimes some Virginia Shakespeare cast members present to cook, talk, discuss art, music, and politics, and enjoy good food. It literally has been everything I thought college would be when I was applying!
So who knows readers, maybe I’ll become a total foodie next year, or a chef, or maybe I’ll give up this whole acting thing forever! Just kidding. But seriously, I have loved cooking more this summer and it is really something that I hope to do more of next year.
June 1, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Happy summer readers!! I hope you are all enjoying your time off of school, work, or whatever your day to day might be. I’m sitting in my parents big comfy bed right now, surrounded by my script, monologue books, and pieces of paper with essay ideas on them. My dog is sitting right next to me dutifully watching the French open on TV. My parents are actually in France right now enjoying the tournament, so if you turn on your TV and see someone who looks like me but a little older, it’s probably my mom! Some parents have all the fun…but I digress.
Today marks the middle of the third week of summer break, not that I’m counting of course. In the weeks before I leave for Williamsburg to rehearse for my show in D.C., I have been keeping busy and staying focused, all while relaxing of course! I leave for Virginia on June 15th, and there is much to be done before then. Since I have been home I have been meeting with a trainer three times a week at the gym getting my stamina up for everything I am involved in this summer. It’s been really fun, but also super tough! I’ve taken up yoga, and am really enjoying myself. One thing I will have to take advantage of next year is “Beau-ga,” a yoga class taught at the rec center by my freshman hall mate, Beau Blumburg. I have also been dancing, taking at least two classes a week. It’s been so fun to put my tap shoes back on, and to get back into ballet. There is a dance heavy musical next year, and I want to be prepared to get a good part! I have been taking voice lessons and working with a dialect coach to perfect my British accent for another audition that is coming up.
I have also been researching graduate schools. At the end of the year I sat down with my advisor, who is wonderful and so helpful, and asked him what he thought about being a theater major and going to graduate school. He thought that it would be a good idea to apply and audition and see what my options are then go from there. I totally agree! The advisor/student relationship at William and Mary is incredible, especially when you declare your major. They are so helpful and so easy to talk to, I know that I will be going to my advisor for advice long after I graduate. So, in these past few weeks I have researched and compiled a complete list of where I’m applying and auditioning for grad school and what the dates are. Nothing like time off to be productive!
Other than that I have been enjoying the sunshine, playing with my dog, and visiting old friends. I’ll be in Virginia and D.C. soon enough to begin my first professional production, and I honestly could not be more excited! Woo hoo!
May 17, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
I have to start by apologizing. I have been gone for way too long. Well, I have good reason, I promise!
Since my last entry I have been in two shows, run projections for another show, completed my junior year, and have maintained a steady social life in between!
The first show that I was in this semester was Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest.” It was a blast to be a part of. The production was a part of a student run organization on campus called Shakespeare in the Dark. SITD puts on student directed productions of different Shakespeare plays. The director was Stephen Dunford, a senior and a fellow theater major. He cast me and two other girls as the part of Ariel. We represented the three elements: earth, fire, and rain. I had the pleasure of playing earth Ariel. It was a very interesting and eye opening experience.
I also had the opportunity to be in a scene in the directors workshop class production of “The Good Doctor.” It is a play written by Neil Simon based off of Anton Chekov’s short stories. I was the wife Sonya in the first scene entitled “The Sneeze.” In my own opinion, it was hilarious. Well, the show was hilarious. Senior Mary Meyers was the director, and she was just a joy to work with.
Last, I got to run projections for the Friday performance seminar class and their production of “Hair.” It was a phenomenal production with an extremely talented cast. People were turned away at the door every night, it was just that popular! I have never had the experience of working on a show from a tech angle. I can safely say that I am a) not that great at it, and b) that I would much rather be on stage singing with the cast. But it was an all together fun time. The crew danced up in the balcony with the cast and sang along while we ran cues for the show. We felt like we were as much a part of the show as the actors were. I strongly suggest that everyone should have their own tech experience. Seriously.
But enough about this semester and what I’ve been up to. With graduation yesterday and senior year looming, there are so many things to think about. On the last night before I left for home I was sitting on a friends porch watching a thunderstorm. It was two days before graduation and I asked him if he was nervous to graduate. He had an answer that really surprised me. Some of my friends would respond immediately with yes, or they would say that they weren’t ready. But my friend responded by saying that he was excited for all of the possibilities. The whole conversation really got me thinking. William and Mary has made so many things possible for me. It has opened so many doors for friends of mine. I have watched my friends get the internships and dream jobs, my best girlfriend become the president of Mortar Board, some of my other good friends get up to $6,000 in summer research scholarships. And me? This summer I’m cast in a show that was written by a William and Mary student and is going to be directed by a WM professor. The show will be performed at the Capital Fringe Festival in D.C. this summer. It’s going to be an incredible opportunity.
So, even though it seems like every other day my mom throws a new cliche at me…I swear it must be a mom thing…her favorite one right now is “live in the moment,” I can’t help but smile. And even though I can’t stand cliches and try not to get wrapped up in the fact that I’m almost positive my adorable mother collects them, I know for at least right now that she is right. We do need to live in the moment. We do need to get excited for the possibilities. Robin Williams in “The Dead Poets Society” said, probably better than a cute cliched mom, “Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
Enjoy summer readers. I’ll be writing again soonly. I promise.
February 20, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
Hello readers! Have you missed me? I’ve missed you. It’s been a quick couple weeks since I’ve been back at school and there is much to catch you up on. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have class on Friday which has allowed me to travel to places such as Las Vegas and back home to Chicago without missing a beat!
Since I’ve been back this semester I’ve been working hard with my AMP committee on different publicity outlets such as videos and different posters. I’ve loved playing roles such as Jenna Maroney in our “30 Rock” spoof that publicized different events, most specifically the fact that Judah Friedlander came to campus and performed standup. Hilarious. It is a truly incredible organization to be a part of, and I love getting the campus community to come out to our wonderful events. There really is WAY to much to do at this school, as you can imagine I’ve been busy!
I also had the chance to travel to Las Vegas to watch my friend, Miss New York, Alyse Zwick, and my other friend, Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, compete for the Miss America crown. What was an even bigger surprise was that my friend Caressa WON! Representing the state of Virginia she will serve as Miss America for the year of 2010. She will represent an organization that awards over 45 million dollars in scholarship money to over 14,000 young women nationwide. She herself, has won over 80,000 dollars in scholarship money this year alone. Pretty cool. A sorority sister of mine will also be competing for Miss USA, a different organization, this May. We wish her the best of luck.
Remember my post about running? Well, if you haven’t heard from the other bloggers or haven’t been watching the weather channel, then you wouldn’t know that it has been frigid and snowing here for the last couple of weeks. Today however, I was able to shed my long-johns as the temperature skyrocketed to 58 degrees. If I was still back in Chicago it would be grounds for a pair of shorts! I have had to restrict my running to the treadmill, but fear not! I will be headed outside tomorrow bright and early for a long run with my boyfriend. I’m sure he will beat me, as he always does, but it’s fun to race nonetheless! I’ll keep you posted as race day nears…dun dun dunnn.
As for this Saturday night? Well, you guessed it. I’m sitting in a dark theater in Phi Beta Kappa hall, the theater building, watching the tech rehearsals for the new main stage show, “Eurydice.” It is an adaptation by Sarah Ruhl, and I had the pleasure of doing the props for the show. As the props master I had the opportunity to work with design professor Matt Allar. He helped me to create and to gather different objects like suitcases, straws, books, and parchment paper. It has been a truly eye opening experience for me being on the other side of a production. What is the coolest part is that sitting next to me are the lighting designer, the stage manager, and some of the crew members. All of these people are students, not professors. So it is pretty cool to have been a student at production meetings, at rehearsals, and to be a part of the professional world of theater at such a young age. I will admit though, I’m sad I’m sitting in the audience and not up on stage, but it has been a incredible learning experience working with professors and my fellow students. I’m so happy to be a part of a department that allows its students to get involved in such a hands on way. Essentially, being the props master is the theater departments answer to undergraduate research.
So there you have it readers. I apologize for my being m.i.a. I promise I will be around more often! Enjoy the warmer weather…let’s all hope it lasts.
January 5, 2010 by Chloe Lewis
It is cold outside. Really cold. I’m talking 12 degrees. If that. I’m sitting at my kitchen table watching as it tries to snow outside, but it is actually too cold to really stick. I’ve got two pairs of socks on and slippers, not including the fleece vest I have over all my layers. Winter in Chicago is grim. So grim, in fact, that I am headed back to Virginia on Friday for a week to visit my boyfriend before flying back to Chicago to then drive back to Virginia for school. Woo, that was a long sentence. Anyway, unlike most people in the city of Chicago, today I put on my big girl pants and went for a run. By big girl pants I mean fleece lined running tights, just for clarification. Now, if you are one of my readers you probably know that I am planning to run a race in March. Today, however, as I was cursing myself for signing up for another race because you can’t just show up the day and run it, it actually takes training, I thought to myself exactly why I love to run.
First, I’m not fast. I’m not just slow, I’m really slow. Most humans can probably walk faster than me. I average, at my best, and eight to nine minute mile; but that’s not why I run. The summer before I came to college I had two potentially cancerous moles removed. Then, my sophomore year my dad had some pre-cancerous lesions on his face. As I watched my dad go through the treatments and chemotherapy creams, I found myself really struggling to stay connected to him. I was far away from him while I was at school, and with skin cancer in my family, I struggled with the thought that my dad could be the next victim. My dad was an All American runner in college, and still runs with our family dog every single day. So, I decided after seeing one of my best friends complete the colonial half marathon our freshman year, that I too was going to complete the same half marathon. At this point, you might be thinking, “What in the WORLD was she thinking?” But let me just tell you, deciding to run this race led me on not only a path to get closer to my dad, but also a path that led me closer to myself.
I began slow, conquering distance and tough hills. I downloaded tons of music to my ipod, much to my parent’s credit card dismay, and forced myself every single day to run. Sometimes I was so sore I could not make it down the Bryan hall stairs to the basement where my dorm room was. I literally lived in my running clothes, and food became my best friend. As my body changed, my mood changed, my grades improved, and I learned to love getting lost. The best thing about going to school in a colonial town that also has forests and paths nearby, is that there will always be routes I haven’t yet explored, cute little colonial houses and farms I haven’t stopped at to catch my breath by, and always an abundance of trails in the woods to discover. Also, the distance from the stops of the Wren building to the end of Colonial Williamsburg is exactly one mile…just in case you were wondering.
One night during my training a friend of mine who used to be on the track team went out on a run with me. Now, I don’t know if you know anything about Williamsburg and ghosts, but we have ghosts. Lots of them. So naturally we decided to run into Colonial Williamsburg late at night. We are idiots. To keep me occupied from the incredibly fast pace we were running and how cold it was outside, we told stories. Ghost stories. No wonder I ran so fast, I was freaking out! But during my training I would call my dad and we would bond over hard runs and he would tell me what it was like when he ran in college. I ran with friends on long runs and short runs. I convinced people to ride bikes, skateboard, and in one instance, just drive really slowly next to me so I could have someone to talk to while I ran. I used the time to meditate, vent, and connect with old and new friends on campus. I explored Williamsburg on foot, and felt even more comfortable in the place I call home.
On the day of the big race it was freezing cold, snowing, and well, miserable. My dad flew in from Chicago and was there to see me run the race. Is it bad I’m tearing up writing this? Maybe just because I’m a sap…anyway, I digress. After nearly two and a half hours and practically coming in dead last, I saw my friends at the final turn where I had to run up a hill and into William and Mary Hall to finish the race. Along the way friends had cheered me on at watering stations, and one had even run a little bit with me. Then, as I turned that corner to finish out the race, my friends were there cheering and screaming with signs standing in the merciless rain/snow that was pelting down that day. As I crossed the finish line tears streaming down my face, there were all my friends waiting for me, and my dad. I threw my arms around him and yelled, “I did it!” I took on what I thought would be an impossible feat. A task to get closer to my dad became a journey to get closer to a campus, my friends, and most importantly, a journey to discover myself. The best part about it was knowing that through it all, at a school like W&M, I was never alone through any of it.
So, now I’m doing it all again in March. Who knows what is next? I was offered the ability to run the Chicago marathon for Northwestern Memorial Hospital…but that might be biting off more than I can chew. They’d probably shut the race down because it would take me almost a year to finish. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted readers, and for my sake? Stick to the treadmill.