A question I ask myself often.
This is me.
Well, not me EXACTLY, but you get the idea. It’s not that I don’t play well with others, it’s just that I don’t…well…DO well with others. I just don’t GET people. Remember this? Innate shyness and socially challenged is definitely part of my genetic makeup. From where, I’m not really sure, as the rest of my siblings are pretty good at the whole blahblahblah thing. I bring this up now for a couple of reasons.
I’m currently following the adventures of Stephanie as she gets ready to take on Part Two of her #marathonpalooza madness. As she globe-trots from Orlando to Chicago to Orlando to Quantico to Orlando to NYC, back to Orlando for the Wine and Dine, and finally closing out the year with the Space Coast Marathon, I wonder first, how the HELL is she going to survive the insanity, and second, how would I handle going all those places and NOT KNOWING NARY A SOUL. I can tell you.
The second reason this popped out of my game show dollar machine brain is this: my
torture master massage therapist Janet was telling me about this running group she ran into (pun intended) purely by accident a few weeks ago. Hash House Harriers, an international running group, seems to have made its way to my area. “Drinkers with a running problem” is their tagline, (how could you not love that?), and a group I could possible relate to. Except for one little bitty problem. GROUP. E-GADS, how I hate that word.
Now let there be no mistake. I’ll talk to just about anyone after a little liquid courage is involved, but that’s not always conducive at the starting line. Or the finish line if you think about it. As much as I try, I just don’t have that innate ability to strike up a conversation with another living, breathing human being. Now put a pooch in my path, and I’ll yak to them all day long. But put good ol’ homo sapiens in my path, and I put on my best clam imitation.
I really don’t know what the point is that I’m trying to make, except to say, how the heck do you DO it? How does one strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger and not have them look at you like you’re a complete idiot? Okay, idiot factor aside here, I constantly wonder at people’s ability to do just that. I have heard the most hilarious conversations started in of all places, the mile long lines for those god-awful porta-potties at the start of the Wine and Dine every year. But if you think about it, what better place to hit it off with complete strangers than standing in line, trying not pee your drawers, and actually TALKING about it?? Some places just incite the no shame rule.
So I guess the best advice I can give myself – and you – is next time we find ourselves flying solo at a race, just hang out in the bathroom lines. Guess you’ll never know who you may run into. Hey, Kara and Shalane have to go at some point, don’t they???
Enjoy the ride.
Ever find yourself holding back from joining a group because you’re just too shy? Did you do anything about it? Were you glad you did or did you feel like a total schmuck the entire time?