Nearly two months ago I typed up a quick thought about the struggle of exploring new grounds when it came to establishing friendships (and going to public speed sessions). The week after I wrote that piece I started to force myself to attend these three hour events; knowing that I was easily the slowest person in the whole group. A painful, painful, humbling pill to swallow.
With that said, as weeks passed by I started to notice an adjustment in my own life at these practices that I hadn’t quite anticipated.
Hey, want to cool down with us?
How are you feeling today?
Don’t push yourself if you’re not feeling well.
I know that injury is hard, but patience is worth it.
Have you thought about running a race on a trail?
These, wait for it, people were talking to me. Sure, they had their one hundred mile races logged, and they average 40-50 miles a week of running, but they were talking to me. The guy that was running alone and not quite sure why he was even in this specific situation to begin with.
The awkward sensation has been taking place for two months now…
In this timeframe I did the unthinkable; I asked one of these random runners if they could speak to my students about owning their own business (coffee shop, naturally). They agreed! Yes, this random runner who unknowingly was kind to me at a practice that was so nerve wracking that I had skipped several weeks in a row, had agreed to speak with my students on the opposite side of the city. No. Strings. Attached.
The day came and they showed up! They talked about business with my students, they were kind, polite, and the kids were curious about their tattoos (it’s a ultrarunner thing I’ve learned). I was in awe; I had met someone, learned about them, ran with them (or tried to), and then asked them to do something with me outside of just running.
Did I just make a friend?
I just made a friend.
You want to grab a glass of wine with us?
The question that was directed towards me after last weeks session. Due to school I declined, but I knew I was glowing when I got into my car to go home. Someone had asked me to go with them, a group of people, and just be…well…normal people. I’m invited to other running adventures outside of Wednesday nights (of which I’m sure I’ll die), and have even started the training process of running with them this October on a 25K race.
I can’t quite think of the last time, if ever, that I made a friend that wasn’t connected to work, school, or church related activities. They are people who just hold the same interest as me. They are far, far cooler and better composed compared to myself, but they still accept me. They still accept my oddities and still choose to talk to me.
Maybe I’m a creep for writing about making friends. Maybe it further fulfills the notion that I am one of the most narcissistic people on this planet. Maybe I am happy that something out of the ordinary has transpired in my life, and I simply want to share the joy with people who read this post.
I have social problems; I accept this sad reality.
I also accept the reality that I’ve made a friend.