Who Moved My Cheese?

I hate change.

I’ve lived in Austin since the year the 360 bridge was completed. I bought my house right out of college. I started teaching at this school five or six years before my current students were born. My dog lived to be almost 19. Lakeline is the “new” mall… that opened in the early 1990s. And so on.

So when Rogue announced it was closing its Cedar Park retail store, it tripped my panic button big-time. I’ve trained out there for four years now, and it was comfortable. Well, as comfortable as running dozens of miles a month can be, anyway. Familiar routes, familiar routines (post-run coffee, anyone?), familiar landmarks.

But then the Summer of 2016 happened, and a bunch of things in my life changed all at once. Someone moved my cheese.

I got a call in late July asking me to come up to school and relocate all my stuff to a different classroom. One co-worker changed grade levels and another moved out of state. And the district overhauled its Language Arts curriculum. So all at once I’ve had to cope with new space, new people, 150 new students, and a shift in the way I teach them. Simultaneously, Rogue has been in limbo, sort of working out of the (empty) retail store while renovating the new space a few miles away.

Saturday was the grand opening, and our first run from the new location. Adapting to new cheese.

I have some level of familiarity with the place–it’s adjacent to the Tri Doc‘s office, who has patched me back together more than once–so at least I knew how to get there, even in the dark. And familiar faces greeted me at the door. There was a place to store my stuff, an ice machine, water/Gatorade coolers, and a restroom. And a coffee machine!

It’s about half the size of the retail location, but it didn’t feel crowded. Coach Jen and the others have obviously worked extremely hard to make it a place we can call home.



Art by Bill Schroeder


So off we went, into the maze that was a new route. We made a wrong turn right from the start (more cheese-moving) but eventually found the first water stop. After about 1.5 miles, we hit familiar terrain again, picking up part of a Rogue route I’d run a couple of times. We ran through some sprinklers just before we found the second water stop, but then we almost missed the last turn just before the halfway mark.

No longer able to run on autopilot, we felt tired pretty early on and stopped caring about our pace–we were getting used to our new normal. Including a steep hill with under a mile to go.

We returned to a party atmosphere–Rogue’s grand opening coincided with the Tri Doc’s tenth anniversary celebration. Music, breakfast tacos, and a raffle (I won a visor!) kept us hanging around after our post-run stretching and foam rolling. Once we found the cheese foam rollers, that is.





Art by Bill Schroeder

About the Author: Melissa Cooper started running in 2011 with Couch to 5K. In the summer of 2012, in what seemed like a leap, she joined Rogue Running and completed her first half-marathon–San Antonio Rock and Roll–later that year. Finishing San Antonio was supposed to be a one-time bucket list thing, but these days her half-marathon total is at double digits (and climbing). Her favorite race distance is probably the ten-miler. By day, she is a middle school teacher who juggles work and life and running—sometimes even successfully.