I had a shitty week. Which you already know if you follow me on Instagram because within five minutes of leaving work yesterday evening, I was on a bar stool at a restaurant just a few doors down…
There have been multiple reasons for my gloomy disposition but one of them, I realized yesterday, is how much I’m missing community. In every sense of the word.
Moving away from the small town where I grew up, started my family, and where much of our family still lives has been an interesting change. It’s been a good change, don’t get me wrong, but city life has, at times, left me feeling a bit alienated. I’ve found myself missing things I took for granted such as calling my child’s school and being greeted by someone who knows me by first name and takes the time to ask how my parents are doing.
What I have missed most, though, is my real-life running community. (I love the online running community too, fyi!) Running with others who share your love of the sport is one of the reasons I love running. It was the reason I co-founded a running club and for a solid couple of years spent every possible Saturday morning in rain, snow, freezing temps, and sometimes, if lucky, sunshine, to lead a small group of kindred runners on a short course with an optional post-run coffee stop at Starbucks.
I guess, to be honest, I haven’t tried very hard.
When we began making plans to move, I remember sitting at my computer one night doing an online search for running stores in hopes that I would find one nearby that offered group runs. I vowed that as soon as possible, I’d attend and become an active participant in such groups. After we settled where we are, I discovered that there are two specialty running stores within four miles of where I live and at least one other group that meets weekly at a pizza place about a mile away. Beyond that, there are probably another 20 groups that meet around the greater Los Angeles area each week. (I will note that the primary reason I have not attended any of the offered group runs is because the majority of them are held later in the evening and I’m not much of an evening runner.)
Then, last week, in an attempt to clean my handheld water bottle, I damaged the seal that keeps the contents inside. During my 14-mile run last Sunday I’m certain I wore more watermelon flavored Nuun than I drank. Time for a new bottle! While I was researching my options yesterday, I discovered that one of the two nearby running stores offers Saturday morning group runs! Even better is that they finish at a Starbucks a few blocks from the store!
I started thinking about going and then kind of forgot about it until I woke up this morning. Then I remembered that I still needed a new bottle and would have to go at some point today anyway. I tried talking myself out of it at least three times with a variety of excuses… I might not have enough time to get ready… I might get there too late and they’ve already left… I might be the only one that shows up…
When I arrived, I was greeted by a small group of runners and the owner of the Fleet Feet Burbank store hosting the run who asked me if I was the person that had called yesterday. I replied “No. I took a leap of faith and just showed up.”
I took a leap of faith this morning and after a nice 3-mile run, I was sitting at a table at Starbucks with community. If felt really, really good!
P.S. I’m the proud owner of a new water bottle. (And a new Oiselle tank. Shh…)
P.P.S I used Uber to get home.