If there’s one person that gets me more than anyone else gets me here in Colorado, it’s my friend, Noot. That’s her nickname; her real name is Arthaya. We met over a year ago when she started working at Rapha a few months after me, and we hit it off immediately. She’s goofy and unfiltered. She’s thoughtful and creative (with a Master’s degree in fine art). She’s gentle and caring and kind. She puts everyone else before herself and inspires me to do the same.
We don’t get to catch up as often as we used to when we worked together, but last weekend we made time to go for a short trail run/hike together on the Mesa Trail in Boulder. On Sunday morning, as I was curled up in my big comfy chair sipping coffee and scrolling the socials with beautiful bright blue skies out my windows, I started craving some sunshine and movement, but was feeling uninspired to get on the bike. It was windy and cold and I’d ridden myself into the ground the day before.
I texted Noot about heading out for a trail run and, without hesitation, she said yes! She’s the only person I’ve run with in Boulder in the last two years and the only person I’ve run with EVER in the last seven. She’s patient with me since my Dystonia prevents me from running far or fast and is always willing to walk with me when my legs can’t handle another step.
She and Rupert—the dog she was sitting for—met me at a trailhead near where I used to live in South Boulder. He is such a joy, and I was so happy she brought him along. The second she jumped out of the car I gave her the biggest hug I could and I meant every second of it. I’m a hugger and her friendship means the world to me.
Because of the whipping wind, we got going at maybe the slowest pace we’ve both ever run. But I knew once we got into the woods, the thick trees would block the wind and we’d be able to pick up the pace a little here and there. The trail was so busy despite the wind and everyone seemed so happy to be out there; trail runners, walkers with dogs, friends out for a morning jog, tourists who were very clearly tourists exploring Colorado, retired folks out for their morning walk, college kids dicking around in the woods. It was a mixed bag just like Boulder, which is one of the reasons I love this place so much.
Noot and I have both been through some heartbreak in the past couple years; hers more recent. So I let her talk through that. Sometimes I think the path to healing is a wide open trail and a friendly ear to just listen for awhile. I know that’s what I needed, and when I couldn’t keep those emotions inside of me any longer, she let me do the same one day at work.
^^^ We saw our friend, Craig, on the trail. Hi, Craig!!
When we made it to Chautauqua Park, we stopped to give Rupert some snacks and water, then turned around to head back to where we started. I was actually very surprised at how well Rupert was doing. He was carrying his own little pack full of snacks and hydration (for him, not us) and didn’t seem to get too tired or need many breaks.
On the way back I had to ask her about New York. She was talking about moving back to the city where she moved from several years ago; she has a bigger community there and probably more opportunity to pursue her art. She’s not moving, she said. At least not for awhile, which I selfishly loved. Noot is one of the people who made me feel welcome here, and I was really worried about losing a great friend if she decided to leave.
Once we got back to the trailhead, we’d covered almost seven miles and so much life. We text a lot, but to hear the words and the pauses and the sighs—that’s connection and friendship. The wind hadn’t stopped and the weather wasn’t really warming up much, so we headed into town for coffee at Rapha where we ran into a ton of friends. I think we sat and chatted and laughed our faces off for about an hour before we both got hungry and desperately craved hot showers.
What was the point of this post? Not sure except that sometimes the small moments are often my most favorite ones, and that taking time for friendship is always worth it.