By Gilbert B. Elwyn
One of the joys if running is being alone with your thoughts to the accompaniment of the rhythmic intake and exhale of breath and steady pounding of shoes on ground. Many runners consider this to be meditation at its finest and a key motivation for their desire to run.
Today we take a look at a more social aspect of running: running partners.
Many runners who are training for a specific goal – whether a specific race or just getting outdoors to run on a regular basis – find it fun and helpful to do so with a friend. The running buddy can be a diversion, a motivator, a fellow adventurer, and a conscience. Often, he or she is a confidant, sounding board, and social engagement.
Running partners can become very close by virtue of shared experiences and exertions. Our former running group survived a decade together and shared a microcosm of life amongst our little band: marriages, births, deaths, divorces, unemployment, employment, and serious illnesses. Like the small community it was, its population ebbed and flowed with departures and arrivals. There was humor, an essential. There were shared trials and there were triumphs, also shared. There were post-run breakfasts ands there were race trips. Above all, there was a glorious sense of belonging and of support.
The glue that held this group together was that which got them together initially: running. That was the thing that all of us, regardless of ability or speed, had in common – and we had runners spaced throughout any race from front to back, but each finisher transformed from runner to rooter until all of us were safely through.
Our wish for you is that you enjoy the silent awareness of running alone, but also get to know the joy of finding at least one “sole” mate to share your miles of smiles.