I used to run by myself. I’m sort of an introvert, in the same way that flat earthers are kind of silly and chocolate frosties are kind of good. And then one day I stumbled across a running club.
I had never been much of a running club person before. We had a little group in Georgetown, but it never much caught on. This running club was different. People from all over. Serious runners, hilarious runners, short distances, insane distances.
We would meet up every day. We shared runs, stories, lives, jokes, barbs. I realized running wasn’t just running. It was a metaphor for life.
We were sponsored by a running company, but nobody thought much about that. We were just a little group of misfits, runners drawn together by chance and word of mouth. It was so much fun. New people would show up, old people would welcome them. It was a party on running shoes.
I made friends. Which is weird for me, because I Don’t Make Friends. We were a family.
I thought the club would stay together forever.
And then it didn’t.
People wandered off. I guess they joined other clubs or got hurt or lost interest or had lives. Hard to say. A few people would still show up, but the numbers dwindled. It’s hard to stop the momentum when that happens.
And then the running company pulled its sponsorship. One of the club members figured out a way to keep the club running independently, but nothing much changed. You want things to go back to the good old days, but that’s life.
I mostly run alone again now. A few friends show up now and then, but the spirit is gone. We pretend, but we know. It’s sad.
Those friends will always be with me, but not that place where we would meet up to share the energy, the laughter, the love.
I miss that running club.