that's the first word i ever said to phil kochik, the day i ducked my head inside the running shop he was setting up in seattle.
seven hills hadn't even opened yet~~its walls and shelves were nearly bare~~but phil invited me in to look around anyway.
that was 2012, and i was a neophyte runner of roads. for me, unpaved trails were literally undiscovered country. i had no idea of the countless miles and adventures just around the corner.
this month seven hills celebrated its 4th anniversary.
in the intervening years, one of the most inspiring aspects of the shop is the community that has grown up around it.
seven hills has hosted some of the greatest runners in human history, along with a who's-who of FKT and OKT explorers. the shop has sponsored remarkable athletes from across the pacific northwest, and has been equally supportive of mid- to back-of-the-pack runners.
the people who have gravitated to "team seven hills" fit no particular demographic, save one: a willingness to throw themselves at adventure.
whether it's their first first trail run or their first 100-miler, volunteering at an aid station or crewing for friends, these folks radiate a warm joie de vivre you want to bask in every chance you get.
|photo of madcap hilarity courtesy of glenn tachiyama.|
i'm not sure where my running would have taken me if seven hills hadn't moved into our neighborhood (not far, i suspect). but to whatever degree i'm now more than a pedestrian weekend jogger, i owe it to this shop and the extraordinary people i've met because of it.
i am, as noted many times before, endlessly grateful.
this week phil announced he extended the shop's lease another two years.