“Strea-Dog.”

April 29th 2022, Pittsburgh Marathon Running Expo

I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a true story, which is exactly what makes it so great.

Strealy and I met nearly two years ago, as she was hired to be the Office Manager for the chiropractic clinic where I work. I knew absolutely nothing about her, but I liked her energy. We “clicked” almost instantly.

I’m a cautious person when it comes to relationships, patient when it comes to friendships, and I do not chase love when it comes to anybody. In my opinion, what’s meant to be will always find a way – and, when it comes to Strealy & I, it most certainly did!

It definitely helps that we see each other 4 days a week at work – and text (in Gifs) on the “in-between”.

It helps that she is the extrovert to my introverted personality. It helps that we both have similar personal and professional background experiences and can read each other’s minds just from the looks in our eyes.

It helps that we can talk about anything, and the other will never be seeking to judge. It helps that we can be silent, and the other will sit in comfort and solidarity there.

It helps that we are responsible adults – but love to laugh, joke, prank, and look at things through the eyes of an immature child.

Where I am weak, she is strong – and where she may falter, I hold strength for us both.

Several months ago, we decided that we would run this year’s Pittsburgh Half Marathon together. Both of us are recovering from significant spinal injuries, so the goal has always been to simply have fun and finish this epic hometown race together.

Recently, however, Strealy mentioned that she would love to complete at least one full marathon in her lifetime, just to know that she can. I assured her that she could, and stressed that the biggest factor in completing any long distance event truly is your mental capacity to simply believe in yourself.

As race weekend approached and bib numbers were assigned, I logged on and looked ours up. Imagine my surprise when I found Strealy’s bib registered for the full marathon! I immediately called her phone.

“I think the Universe is giving you a sign.”, I said. “Is it now or never for that full marathon you want to run? Because you registered for the FULL.”

“The f*ck I did!”, she replied.

“Yeah, you f*ck*ng did!”, I laughed back. “If you really wanna do this, I need to know right now so I can transfer up, because there’s no way in hell I’m letting you go alone!”

“No…”, her voice trailed off, “I’m not ready to do this now. I need to transfer down.”

A part of me (aka: my spine!) was relieved, but my heart still yearned for more. “Okay. Text me when it’s done.”, I replied, and we both hung up our phones.

This morning we drove to the Expo. We picked up our packets and explored the vendors. When we looked at our bibs, we realized that, by transferring to the half marathon she no longer had the option to personalize her bib – so there’s just a blank space above her number.

“Whatchu’ wanna call yourself?”, I asked. “What’s your street name gonna be?”

“I don’t know. You think of something.”

By the time we arrived back in Cranberry, I knew exactly what it was going to be.

“Strea-Dog”
– because, just like any stray dog I’ve ever met, she has very quickly become the best friend a girl like me could ever have!

And now we are ready! If you happen to see us out there on Sunday morning, running the streets of Pittsburgh, feel free to say “Hello!”, offer a high-five, or cheer! We should be easy enough to spot – we’ll be the ones having all the fun, running just half the miles, and drinking all the beer!

#BeyondTheBoylstonLine

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