8.19.2008

A bonus "side-effect" of running

In addition to the obvious physical and mental benefits that most runners experience, there is one benefit that may trump them all -- meeting like-minded people.

In the past year I have met and formed close friendships with several other runners in the area...women I likely never would have met "in real life" due to the lack of social gathering places in our small town and since none of us are into the usual mommy draws like scrapbooking or other crafty pursuits.

The first mom I met was through a run/walk site geared for moms.  Eventually I dragged her to runningahead.com and we finally met in-person.  

The second mom I met was indirectly through our sons' school.  We were there in the evening picking up school photos and she was in running attire, so I struck up a conversation with her and gave her my e-mail address.  Under normal circumstances our paths never crossed, since she dropped her son off and picked him up earlier than I did Dane.  We have run together and raced together several times over the past year.

The third mom I've met through running found Running Ahead and the Michigan user group.  Said she lived in my town...small world!  She and I have now run together several times, as well.

And today I did my first run with another mom from the community who is so much like me in personality and interests that it's almost horrifying.  She is only a couple of months younger than I am, she and her hubby share the same wedding anniversary (to the exact day), we both have ADD/ADHD boys, we both talk non-stop, we both are anti-mini van and pro-manual transmission, both abhor scrapbooking, both LOVE Bell's Oberon beer...the list goes on.  We've both been in the area for 8 years and are amazed by how much we have in common and how sad it is that our paths have never crossed until recently. 

One thing these women and I all share is that none of us grew up in the area.  We have all found that this community is pretty insular and the locals stick to themselves and aren't particularly eager to open up to new members of the community.  As a result we transplants find it hard to forge friendships.  Without running I'm certain I'd still have to drive at least a half hour to meet up with a friend or two for some social time.  With the current price of gas it's kind of nice to have a regular social outlet that costs so little and offers so much in exchange.

:)

3 comments:

  1. Very cool. I glad you're forging new friendships locally through this electronic medium and running. They really help to focus common interests to make new friendships that much more solid.

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  2. And, of course...I should have mentioned my RA friends that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Hopefully the number of RA members that I am able to meet IRL increases in the coming months and years.

    :)

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  3. Yaaaaay! You can never have too many friends, I always say!

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