Monday, July 16, 2012

Solitary Community

One of the things I love the most about running is that it's all me.  How my run goes is all up to me.  I have no new steps to learn, I don't have to worry about having my spot, I don't have to worry if I look like an idiot in front of a bunch a people.  I don't have to worry if there is a class available when I am free.   I can be by myself and have time to sort through things and get out of my head.

Initially, when I started running I started on a treadmill.  It was truly all about me.  No one else was paying attention but it did get boring.  Even with my music.  I found that I didn't push myself very hard and it got static. 

After about ten months, I started running at lunch with friends.  Keep in my mind, with the exception of the 5k's I had done, I was still a treadmill girl.  It was then that I realized that I preferred to run outside.  Even if it's the same route, it was never the same. Running with friends made me pushed myself even beyond what I thought I could do and I managed to keep up.  I began to notice that other runners, walkers, bikers would wave or acknowledge us in some fashion.  I thought it was somewhat bizarre but I discounted it as the people who were waving must have just known one of my friends.

As I got comfortable, I started branching out for a long run by myself on a local trail. All of a sudden, I noticed it there too.  People I didn't know were smiling at me, waving, and nodding as I passed.  Totally out of character for me, but I found myself smiling, nodding and waving back.  
 
It was then that I realized that even though I was by myself, I was never alone.