Are you hesitant to join a running community or group? Does the idea of running with a bunch of strangers with running being the only thing you have in common seem weird?
Running groups often intimidate me. I’m afraid of looking slow or being outdone by other runners. My ego is definitely getting in the way, so I need to make a point of returning to running groups.
The relationships you can build while training or running a race with someone are difficult to describe. There are some people that I ran races with five years ago that I feel closer to than some people that I worked with for five years.
Running can often be the only thing that you have in common with other runners, but often we get along. We all want each other to finish the race, which separates it from other sports.
Sharing a similar experience with someone puts both of you to the test and builds trust. When you go through something challenging with another person, you have only each other to rely on. Your brain resists giving up because you don’t want to disappoint that person, and you know you still have more energy to give.
Everyone who has run a marathon knows what it’s like to run a marathon. The level of difficulty and exertion may vary from person to person, but anyone who has run one knows what it’s like.
Today, a lot of people feel like they are alone in their experiences. The connections we make online aren’t a perfect substitute for real-life connections.
With the shared experience of running, we all have a challenge that we are working through, and often runners run for a reason other than exercise.
Some runners run to help with grief.
Some runners run to fight through a bad day.
Some runners run to battle depression.
Some runners run because it makes them feel great.
Some runners run because it makes them feel like they’re progressing in life.
Whatever the reason that you run, many other runners understand you because running has played that part in one point of their life, just as it does for you now.
Support System & Accountability
One of the reasons I got into running and extreme endurance events is because of the support system and community they provide. No matter how painful and tough it is, I still feel nostalgic towards the event.
The reason why I feel nostalgic towards the event, despite all the pain it brought, is the support I received from others to help me overcome something within myself.
A huge part of running is mental. Often enough, we need the support of others to help us figure that out.
Some of the most nostalgic moments are during the 5-minute breaks when you get to sit down and be with the people who care about and support you.
Meet New People
Meeting new people can be hard. Running can make it easy. If you live in any major city, there are going to be running groups there. Running groups are an immediate icebreaker for meeting people of all ages and backgrounds.
We should all meet people who are outside our immediate friend group. Often, we get stuck in our own circles and forget how large and diverse the world is.
Running is the commonality that can allow you to explore new perspectives on life. Life can be boring when we get caught up in our own echo chamber. Step outside it.
Join A Running Community
Running groups can provide more than just a way to stay in shape. They offer an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share similar experiences and challenges. By joining a running group, you can build trust, create lasting friendships, and expand your social circle.
More than that, running can also help you push yourself mentally and physically, and overcome obstacles with the support of others.
So if you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness and build meaningful relationships, consider taking the leap and joining a running group. Who knows, you might be surprised at how much you gain from the experience.