Happy New Year! I spent this New Year’s in Brussels with my housemate, Maggie. We, the housemates collectively, her boyfriend Stan, and his friends, went to a party hosted by Maggie’s friends, who all happen to be Italian. Who would have thought that I would be ringing in the new year in a fancy mansion in uptown Brussels, surrounded by random Italians? Side note: all of the food was a different variation of pasta or lasagna. And there was lots of it.
Like most January 1st mornings, ours was slow. In fact, ours didn’t officially start until the afternoon. I had been awake for a few hours, and was getting a bit restless, and ready to go back to Middelburg. While we were all sitting around wondering if we should wake the others up, I had it in my mind to start the new year off with a run.
“Does anyone want to go on a run with me?” I asked. None of my housemates run, so this question was meant to be rhetorical, ironic, and slightly annoying. What crazy wants to run after a night out? What crazy wants to run in general?
“I’ll run with you” someone answered. I was shocked. Raised eyebrows, I turned around, and looked at the voice of the owner: Simon. Simon is one of Stan’s friends, and I knew next to nothing about him.
“Wait are you serious?” It took me a few more confirming questions to realize he wasn’t joking. I was so excited! I hadn’t expected anyone in this group to actually be into running, and I was excited to run through Brussels.
All of a sudden Stan walks into the room, “Wait, are you guys going on a run? I’m coming too!” I had known Stan had recently gotten into running, but he was doing a routine that required shorter runs and faster paces. But I figured I had new shoes to break in, and I didn’t feel like going longer than 30 minutes anyways. I was also excited to have two running buddies.
Stan led us to Bois de la Cambre Park, and it was beautiful! I had only seen the major touristy areas of Brussels the last few times I had been, one of which included visiting Maggie last summer. I was also surprised by the amount of hills that were there. Brussels is not far from where I live in the Netherlands, and I expected it to be just as flat as the rest of the Dutch country.
Coming back from our run, Simon and I were talking, and he brought up the Batavieren Race coming up this April. Emma and I have been working on training the Roosevelt Runners for that relay, and I was thrilled to know that he was excited about it, seeing as I had never heard about it until a few months ago. Suddenly it went from hardly knowing anything about Simon, to feeling like we were friends, just because of our shared love for the sport. Now maybe this is too large of an assumption to make, but most of the runners I’ve met have been pretty good people. Runners in general are just likeable, easy to get along with, and are typically pretty nice. A new friend to add to my list of people who like to run, new shoes, and a new park to kick off the new year. Hello 2018!