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Ruckmann-by Kubota!One of the unexpected benefits of blogging these past two years has been joining a worldwide community of bloggers!

A few months after starting my blog, I noticed patterns of “likes” from friends and other writers. I was flattered! Then I started reading other blogs, including one from a young woman in Canada who stopped writing posts because she felt too squeezed for time with her full-time career. I felt sad and read in her comments section that many of us hoped she would one day return to her blog.

Two of my regular followers, both women, live on the Mainland, one in the Midwest and the other on East Coast. I love reading their writing! It’s a favorite part of my day, like how I used to feel when I lived in Baltimore, awoke early, and trained for marathons with an amazing group of women at 5 a.m. or earlier before we left to get ready for work but only after we had solved the world’s problems! (It was fun being the token male!)

With the Hawaiian time zone five and six hours later than the Midwest and East Coast, I awake early after most of the Mainland has been up for a while, read posts from my favorite fellow bloggers, and start my day inspired.

Let me give gratitude and shout-outs to them:

To use a running term, I “draft” off these writers, just like I drafted off my marathon teammates in Baltimore who are far better runners than I’ll ever be! I miss them.

Drafting off a runner or writer, or anyone who inspires you (poets come often to my mind or musicians with whom I’ve played in orchestras — another topic) is a compliment as long as decent etiquette is followed.

If I’m in a marathon and looking for inspiration to help me finish the next mile, I will sometimes begin a light conversation with another runner, often someone I’ve never met, and stay with that person for a while, even try to emulate her or his pace and style for a while.

This week, the author of https://beautybeyondbones.com wrote a post that I keep thinking about because I found so much resonance in her words that give meaning to the many miles I traveled to gain confidence and my self-esteem, and, fortunately, survived in doing so.

I asked https://beautybeyondbones.com if I could draft off her topic. She told me it would be an honor.

With that setting up for my next post when I will draft off beautybeyondbones this weekend, I will say good-bye for now, but I have a brief postscript: I told my husband that finding this community of bloggers is as rewarding as the many miles I ran with my friends in Baltimore.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all meet in Hawaii, run a mile together, share our writing and a meal or several together, talk story as they say here, and stay friends for life? I am ever hopeful!