(This months newsletter column)
Running, by nature, tends to be a solitary activity. Even if there are others around, we’re generally wrapped up in ourselves. “Oh, I’m getting tired” may be a common thought, but “he looks tired” isn’t so common. Even if we did think it, we couldn’t do anything about it, so we’d go back to our own thoughts and carry on.
For our Saturday morning group, for most of last year we were pretty much on our own. Every Saturday, we’d meet and run our individual distances, then take off until next week. Sure, there was some conversation before and after, on occasion some of us would go out for breakfast, but we were all pretty much wrapped up with our own runs.
However, lately it’s been different. We meet every Saturday just like we did before. We either head out on foot from the store, or pile into a couple of cars to drive somewhere for our run. Either way, there is plenty of socializing both before and after. Then a group member created a Yahoo group, and the conversations started continuing on all week. At some point, we started getting together for Sunday runs. We are planning races as teams, hopefully with custom team shirts. We even went bowling one weekend, families included. Lo and behold, we’ve become a community.
Sure, we still each run at our own pace, sometimes even alone, but we’re also with friends. As we split up on the trails and meet up again, it’s always with words of encouragement and a wave. If you’re thinking of joining a group, just do it. You may be surprised by what happens.
Note: Now, there may be some of you out there who are intimidated by the idea of joining our group. After all, we’re a running group, we must take this stuff seriously. The truth is, we’re just ordinary people who happen to enjoy this sport. We come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Come on by, introduce yourself, run with us. I’ll even bet that I’m slower than you.