Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Secret Club

There is a group of folks I seen when I run; and I am one of them.  I get their emails, I know them, and they support me.  My running group.  The funny thing is I never run WITH them.  Yet still, I know their schedule, I know their routine, and I voyeuristically see them on facebook. 
See, for me, running is almost a private thing.  For nearly 40 years, I have run alone.  On occasion, when a friend really wants or needs the company,  we go together, and chat.  And it’s enjoyable – once.  But I find my runs to be a private reflective quiet centering.  I don’t worry about before or after, just the moment, the cracks in the sidewalk. 
And if I were to run with the group, how would I keep pace?  Or would they slow me down?  Do we have to stick together?  Do I have to ‘chat it up’?  What do I say?  Do I smell?  Am I going to have to shower BEFORE I run?!  Do I have to put on makeup?  Do I have to comb my hair???  What's proper running etiquette?  Yes, these are things I think about if I were to run with my group.
But I do say MY group, because they are.  Since joining the Highland City Striders quietly and almost secretly a few years back, I have found them to be supportive and kind.  Always cheering me on through their emails, supporting my life in general, without (heaven forbid) being peer-pressured to run with them. 
What I also know about them, is they have a wealth of knowledge in running; and they are my go-to guys for any questions I have.  IF I were to run with them, I could try intervals, hills, long and short runs.  They do it all, as well as run races, and basically hang together.   Were I to join in on one or any event, I would be welcomed into the gang as the card-carrying member I am, closet-carrying or otherwise.  It’s a cool thing.
I would encourage anyone who loves running to find their local club.  Either for companionship or to just tap into from time to time.  For our Hudson and Marlboro friends, and do what I do – secretly read about them.  
Who knows…….. some day, you may see me on the roads with a friend or two.
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