Community Spotlight: Meg Boushie
What brought you to join NBR?
Admittedly, this is a pretty loaded question. I joined NBR in late 2016, and I know on some spiritual and cosmic level there was a very specific reason NBR came into my life, especially at that time. I had a back injury in 2014 so bad I thought I would never run again, but after almost a year of rest, patience and cross training, I began to add a slow yog back into my workout schedule in late summer 2015.
As I gained more confidence in my running abilities and felt like I was finally in a healthy place again, I thought it might be time to expand past my solo runs on the West Side Highway. I had researched New York running groups and crews for about six months, and NBR kept showing up everywhere. I took that for what it was and decided it was time to jump in. I remember having zero expectations about what I was looking for when I went on that first run, and I kid you not, if I did not push myself to do that, my entire life would not be what it is today.
It only took a run or two, but I remember immediately feeling like I found a sense of community, camaraderie, and “my people”. It’s so funny when something that united is all initially was a level of love for a sport that most people find crazy, but that is so real. NBR has allowed me to find humans that I never would have stumbled upon otherwise. Honestly, I’m lucky enough to call a few of them my very true friends, and they are some most amazing people I know.
NBR opened doors to the running community in New York, and I feel connected beyond the group, too; my experience is not isolated to the team. I have found people in the community that are just as important to me, even if they are not affiliated with a team. When I think about how something as simple as doing something you love and how it changes your world, it gives me goosebumps. Yes, I joined a running group, and yes, I run a lot, but I found things I have been looking for my whole life: a support system, stability, an outlet for my passions, and like I can finally breathe in other areas of my life. The universe puts things in front of us when we are ready, and it is up to us to see them and take them for what they are. And when we do, even if it was not expected, it usually turns out to be pretty amazing.
What’s your favorite part about the NYC running community?
The support, without a question. It isn’t limited to running, either. I am stupidly overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude every single day with the number of people that I have grown to love and cherish. We check on each other, want to spend time with one another, embrace each other for who we are, and present opportunities we may not have found on our own. These people have helped me move apartments, spend their free (aka non-running) time with me, laugh at my (really bad) jokes, and are people I can really count on when things are not so great, either. I’m not sure who is crazier (me for being who I am or them for being friends with me), but I think we are just a bunch of amazing weirdos who found each other and feel some awesome, deep bond. Somehow, even though we spend a bajllion hours with each other every week, we still manage to like each other AND don’t get sick of one another. It’s crazy thinking I didn’t have something to this degree prior to finding NBR, but alas, here we are.
What are your favorite races in the city?
This is actually my first year racing in New York, so I am still learning about both the major and more gritty races in the area. I think my favorites thus far have been the Red Hook Crit, The Brooklyn Mile (what up, Brooklyn Running Company – I see you!), and the Take the Bridge series (and these are both from a racing and spectator perspective).
If we look at the commonality between all of these races, I think it is fair to assume the underground, smaller races are definitely where my attention is drawn to. I get seriously invested when I cheer/spectate (not kidding – it’s an emotional roller coaster), and I think that’s really important to pay attention to. Yes, I shout ridiculous and motivational things as runners race by, but I think the cheering section is seriously underrated at these events. They make the race experience what it is. Every single time I have run in a race, it is the cheer squad that makes the event memorable: when you think you cannot go any further and then have that uproar of energy to get you to the finish line, that is everything. So, in a nutshell: thank you to every person who has ever supported any local race, because without you guys, the experience would not be the same.
Outside of running, what are things you find inspiring and motivating?
Oh, this is an easy one! Music and writing, one hundred percent. I wouldn’t call myself a creative person naturally, but these have been two heavy influencers on my entire life.
I always enjoyed writing and it was a subject I excelled in during my academic years, but never pursued it outside heavily of that arena until late 2015. In the past, writing was more of an outlet, and I really didn’t know what my “voice” was. On a whim, I submitted a few pieces to an online publication in hopes of nothing (are we sensing a theme here?), and they pursued me to write pretty heavily for them when a few went viral. While I decided not to continue with that, I did learn something so valuable: my writing was “good enough” (a very real writer struggle), my voice was one people resonated with, and apparently, my writing inspired others. I am very much a “feelings person”, and so much of the feedback from readers was how my writing captivated them and made them feel things they did not even know they could, and it made me realize how amazing the human experience is. We all have different lives and life paths, but the ways in which we feel is something universal, even if our experiences are all seemingly different.
Like any art form, writing serves as something therapeutic, comforting, and makes us feel all of the things, and being able to share that with the world is a gift I am so eternally grateful for. Sometimes we feel super alone in whatever “unique” experience we are having, but if there is something that unites us and we can feel supported in the process, that’s huge. Writing is one of the avenues that does this for me, and having others feel supported by something I created is extremely humbling, and motivates me to keep creating, keep coming back to it, and keep trying, because so many times, it gives back in ways I never thought imaginable.
On a much lighter note, music is a space I have been told to take advantage of before I “miss my calling” (those stupid and ridiculous music videos on my Instagram are probably the most uninhibited, authentic versions of myself captured IRL). I am known to “dance the words”, and will break into v. embarrassing numbers walking down the isle at the grocery store (so sorry to anyone who has been a part of these interactions but I promise they are really, really entertaining for everyone present in that moment). I get so jazzed when I create a brand-new playlist to listen to on my next run, and when I find a song I love, I tend to send it to every human being that I come in contact with that day. I could go on and on about how music makes me feel, and it’s very difficult to put into words, but it’s pretty all-consuming: I feel it deep in my bones and the soul of my being, and I’m definitely guilty of interrupting conversations to acknowledge (aka sing) a song playing in the background. Music takes over me, for lack of a better way of saying it, and it motivates me in whatever moment I am in: need a pick me up? Need a good cry? Need to raise the energy? Need to re-direct focus? Music does all of that.
Again, it’s finding those things that unite us: whether it’s writing, music, running, or something else entirely, and those things mixed with passion, excitement, and energy – that’s motivation and inspiration.
What are your goals for the fall and 2018?
Life goals or running goals?! If we wanna look at both, my running goals for this fall are to get healthy again. I was diagnosed with a Morton’s Neuroma in my foot earlier this year, and recently found out I have a hip impingement and possible tendinitis in the same hip. Fall running is my favorite, but I I know I need to look at the bigger picture of being healthy and able to run long-term with a period of (probably much-needed) rest. I am looking for other ways to stay active besides running, and have been able to get back into hiking, which is something I have missed since leaving DC and moving to New York. Beyond that, I would love to continue being a support system in this community, and just immersing myself as much as I can to learn as much as I can about the people that flock to this crazy, probably masochistic sport.
#Lifegoals include continuing to write in any capacity, but I do want to focus my energy towards helping and inspiring others via that medium. I am not 100% sure what this looks like yet, but I do have a few brain ideas cooking, so stay tuned!! Outside of that tangible goal, as cliche as it sounds, I am wanting to learn to be more connected with myself, experience The Nature more, and living life as best I can, learning and growing to be the best person I can be, both for myself and for others. I am pretty sure this goes well beyond a year’s span, but there no time to start like the present. More than anything else, I want to be able to look at my life when I am 85 and be able to tell stories that younger generations can learn from and be like, “yo, Aunt Margaret is super old, but she also did some pretty cool stuff”.
Feel free to add in anything else you’d like!
– Have high expectations, but also expect nothing. – Clearly this was a theme throughout the questions above, so I want to reiterate it here. So many times, forcing stuff in your life never works, and more often than not, what we work so hard for never arrives in the package we expect it to. If we can set high standards for ourselves, but also be open and kind and loving towards anyone or any experiences that come our way, that is when the universe takes care of you and things start flowing in the way they are supposed to.
– “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” – This got started when I first met Wil and Mack at Brooklyn Running Co. over the winter. I am not even sure how we got to the point this became our “thing” or whatever you want to call it, but it’s so true: like-minded people draw to each other, so be who you want to attract, whatever those traits may be, and OWN it. The right people show up when you least expect it, and they will recognize you in all the right ways.
– My best friend (also a fellow runner) asked me something years ago that changed my perspective on a lot of things: “when you die, what do you want to be remembered for?” This hit me hard, but it made me look at things square in the face: life is not about what you look like, or what your job title is, or the one day you were super tired because of a late night socializing and connecting with others, or the one stupid mistake you made years ago. It’s the collective of who you are: how you made people feel while they were with you, what you are passionate and care about at a deep level, how much you lived and took chances, and the lessons you learned and grew from. If you look at anything, even running, more often than not, you are going to regret the things you did not do versus the things you did do. So take that, and channel it: take risks, make mistakes, learn, grow, and teach. Just live hard, and love and laugh a LOT. Because when you die, do you think people are going to remember how much money you made or how many cars you could buy or how many vacations you took? Nope. They are going to remember how you made them laugh so hard they almost peed their pants. They are going to remember how hard they cried when they realized your amazing relationship had run its course and how much they would miss you. They are going to remember the late nights you danced until their feet hurt and the sun came up and you got street tacos for breakfast. They are going to remember how you knew to give them a hug when no one else did. Because when you die, you want people to remember the story of you and if that story is a long, weird, funny, and crazy one that does not really make a lot of sense, you probably did something right.