I’ve met most of my friends through running, as well an enormous number of good acquaintances that I see regularly at races or group runs, great people who offer up a smile and a “good job” and receive one from me in return. No matter how hard the race, I always get a little extra energy from offering a thumbs up to a familiar figure with a recognizable stride or hearing a “Go Joe!” as I gasp my way up a hill. And the thing about runners is, even total strangers are usually just as supportive to each other.
It’s no coincidence that some of my happiest and least unflattering photos have been taken while I was hanging out post race with some of the aforementioned friendly running folks. (And these shots sometimes come shortly after my most terrifying and alarming finish photos) 😉
Some of the best friends I’ve met through running will probably remain good friends even if I never ran another step (I sure hope so). But it’s because of running that we met, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s at least partially because they are runners that they are such great people. (I’m not sure about the cause-and-effect: Does running create good people? Or are good people drawn to running? Or a combination? However it works, there’s a definite correlation.)
So I am thankful for running (the ability to run), and I am grateful to running for introducing me to so many good people. And I am thankful that running gives me the stamina to more than keep up with the other players in my soccer and basketball games, even when my skills may lag!