Learning to Find Community

I didn’t want community

When I first started running, I did not like running with other people unless they were faster than me. I didn’t want to be set back because of someone slower than me. Terrible I know! Especially since I was ok with making someone faster go slower with me. This was my newbie runner phase. I was competitive not just with myself and getting better, but with others. I wanted to be faster than the other runners I knew. I loved getting better times then them. I wanted to be above average and to continue to get better. There is nothing wrong with improvement and wanting to be better. There isn’t anything wrong with being competitive either, but I feel like this is what makes running different.

I have learned in my almost ten years of running that it is more about a community. It is more about pushing yourself to be better not about beating others. The fun thing about running is that it isn’t a team sport, but it is a community sport. Some might think that this is kind of the same thing, but it isn’t unless you have a pacer running with you all the time. During how many team sports have you been able have a conversation during the entire event? And I’m not talking about communicating with team members about how to play the game and what steps to take. I’m talking about a real life conversation getting to know the person that you are running next to during the event, during the race. There is something about really being able to know someone while you are in the middle of the grind, doing the hard work. Community also comes after you are done running as well like in any other sport. Does this make sense to anyone else? Don’t you sometimes just feel alone in your thoughts?

It took me several years to get to this point with my running. I didn’t want to plan my training runs around others. I didn’t want to have to wait around. I didn’t want to be slowed down. I didn’t want the community. I wanted my solo runs. Looking at all these reasons makes me feel so selfish. Life isn’t just about me. I was put here on this earth to make an impact on others not to drive them away. Once I really started to see this and started invited other runners into my life, my running changed. I invited others to join me during my scheduled runs. When I heard that another lady was a runner, I was instantly digging in and inviting them to come on a run with me. I no longer cared if I was faster or slower. These women became some of my better friends. We had a great base to start our friendship off running.

Why did I wait so long?

I also grew as a runner. The faster ladies encouraged me to break out of my shell and push harder. I would invite these ladies during sprint sessions or tempo runs. It was great for my body to learn to move faster. When I needed to take a run easy and slow down, I would reach out to those that liked to go slow. It was a great way to help my body to recover. When I just needed encouragement to go on my run, I invited anyone that would go with me. I just needed the motivation to get out there. In the years that I was doing this consistently, I did my best. I felt my best. I was a better runner. Why did I wait so long to invite others in? I wish I would have figured this out sooner. Don’t wait, invite others in.

Tell me Tell me

What is holding you back from starting to run? Why aren’t you inviting that person you don’t know very well to just get out there and run? Let me encourage you to just do it. Call or text that person now and let me know that you did. Heck, if you are in my area, let’s go out for a run. I’d love to meet up with you. Let’s do this. Comment below, so we can start getting you out there.

Running Community

Posted by Jess

I am a Christ follower, wife to the most amazing guy, and a full time mommy which I wouldn't trade for the world. I am a lover of photography and a wannabe world traveler. Sometimes I find myself in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe. I love sharing my adventures old and new with anyone that will listen.