It’s 3 a.m. on March 19. I find myself standing on a sidewalk looking up at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg with Fred, Shelby, and Bekah. In just five hours, over 500 people will be lining the streets to compete in the inaugural Lucky Charm 5k/10k. But for now, the streets are fairly quiet and empty. We take a group selfie to commemorate the occasion, and Shelby marks it with the hashtag #fleetfeetfamily. The four of us run the 10k course together, laughing and telling stories the whole way.
Family. I think it is one of the best words to describe who we are at Fleet Feet. No, we are not united by blood or a shared lineage, but we are united by the miles and a mutual respect and love for the activity of running. And that is also why it is going to be hard for me to leave on March 31, my last day working at Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg.
When Fred and Shelby first interviewed me for a position at Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg in August, I told them that I was getting married at the end of May, 2016, and that I was hoping to be able to transfer to Fleet Feet Maine Running in March or April. I told them that my fiancee is from Maine, and that is where we have been planning to live after our wedding. I knew full well that telling a potential employer that you are planning on leaving in six months is not the greatest idea, but I felt that they deserved that honesty from me. And, thankfully, they still hired me.
Over the next few months, I came to realize that my job was so much more than just selling running shoes. Fred and Shelby were trying to build a community of runners, beginners and veterans alike. When they hired me, whether they realized it or not, they were trusting me with their dreams and their goals as well as helping me to reach my own. They were pouring their hearts into this community, and they were counting on me to do the same.
I have met so many incredible people and made some great memories during my time here. It would take too long to say everything that I truly want to say, so I just want to say thank you to everyone that made my time here so special. Thank you to my fellow staff members for being awesome people to work with. Thank you to those who are an active part of this community and who have become my friends these past months.
But most of all, thank you, Fred and Shelby, for allowing me to see your passion for and commitment to this community on a daily basis. It is something I hope to carry with me as I enter another part of the Fleet Feet Family. I promise to not be a stranger, and I am excited to watch as this community continues to grow, even if it is from Portland, Maine.