This Memorial Day Weekend, I had an amazing opportunity to travel North to Vermont. Every year, Burlington is home to the Vermont City Marathon. One of the participants is Love Your Brain, an organization that supports people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. My friend, Emily, was asked to participate in the run and, in turn, she asked me to join her. So, with running shoes in hand, we ventured up North to show our support for this amazing cause.
It's not easy getting from NYC to Vermont. My journey started at 4:00 am when I left my apartment to catch a 5 am bus. The bus was going to Boston, where I then had to transfer to another bus going to Burlington. In total, the bus travel time took 8 hours (plus a 2 hour layover).
After arriving in Burlington, some people from the camp (shoutout to Joey and Abby!) picked us up and we drove an hour to the camp.
Well, Zeno Mountain Farm, you are quite the looker.
Okay let me elaborate on this camp for a bit, because it's just such a great cause. They provide a space for community and friendships to form and bond. For example, during my trip, there was a retreat for Love Your Brain, so some people there had suffered brain injuries. Others were family members, friends, or caregivers. And others were there to show love and support. I've never seen so much a positive and hopeful room of people. Everyone there is simply incredible and I'm so honored to have been able to be a part of it, even if it was only brief.
Did I also mention that this campsite is BEAUTIFUL!? It has all the workings of a regular camp - cabins, a lake, a mess hall, a performance barn, etc. I'm definitely am a city girl, but I was not mad to be staying in this gorgeous camp.
And the vista?! WOW. Speechless.
One of the members of the retreat was Steve. We had the pleasure of sharing a cabin with Steve. He may have a brain injury, but goddamn can that man crack a joke. Actually, everyone there was super funny. Definitely did not lack any entertainment during our stay.
The following day was race day. Emily and I decided to do a 2-person relay. I would run the first half of the marathon, and Emily would do the second. It was hard. I'm not going to lie. It was hard. I should have trained more, but I did a lot better than expected. Emily did great too! Sure, we didn't break any records, but it wasn't the saddest attempt at running.
If you are planning on doing a race - half marathon, full, or 5-person relay, do the Vermont City Marathon. It's so beautiful and everyone is so supportive. Sometimes, you'll forget how much pain you're actually in!
After recovering from our runs, we got to cheer on the other runners - especially those running with Love Your Brain! The whole team did great! Some people even ran full marathons!
The rest of the day we just roamed around Downtown Burlington. We saw a lot of dogs. It was a good day. Then, we just hopped back on the bus and it was time to go home.
Dear Vermont, you have my heart. Don't worry, we weren't together long, but I'll be back for you. This isn't the end of our love.