Hello. My name is Brenda and I am addicted to running.
I am also addicted to a motley assortment of fellow runners, most of whom I've never met. We are a facebook group comprised of kindred spirits scattered across several states including our tenacious little chapter from the military base in Japan. All deal with this common affliction of which we hope to never be cured.
It started about a year ago when I was invited in by ... um ... actually I don't remember who brought me into this then small group. Fearless Leader Kevin was the founder, whose warmth and friendly support provided a strong foundation. He is currently taking a break from fb and we look forward to his return. The group grew and we high-fived as the 100th member was welcomed in. Today it's over 230 and still growing.
In Runners Anonymous, I have found friends who understand. They don't roll their eyes and look for an exit if I mention the R-word. Instead, we latch onto each other as we slip blissfully into our gibberish of odd words such as: halfs, 10Ks, tapering, hitting the wall, cross-training, intervals, fuel belts, and GUs. I think my other fb friends were all relieved when I disappeared into this outlet and they no longer are burdened with constant updates of my latest session out on the road. (Perhaps I also need a Politics Anonymous fb group to spare my ever-patient friends of my occasional right-wing rants, but then I'd rarely show up on my main "wall" ..... maybe that'd be a good thing? ....)
We post about injuries, bad weather, and life's challenges that mess with The Run. We share our triumphs, PRs, exhilarating finishes, as well as our jitters about The Next Run. We talk running fashion, shoe brands, chafing, favorite iPod music, muscle cramps, the woes of early morning runs before the spouse leaves for work and the kids awake, in addition to what-do-you-eat-before-a-marathon?? We also plan group runs to meet a few more new faces in our merry band.
Best of all is the encouragement. Whether it's someone's first 5K or first marathon, the group sends support and cyber hugs, and then waits anxiously to hear how it went. We're brimming with advice and empathy and for every victory, the cheers and congratulations gush in.
How does one qualify for exclusive membership in RA, you ask?
The only requirement is that you either: 1. Love running, or 2. Want to love running.
What are the entrance fees? 1. A generous sense of humor, and 2. A quick mind that can follow tangents of odd and unrelated topics into which we tend to wander and get lost. (ie: Easter peeps and helicopters .... don't ask .....)
So hail to RA! Live long, run strong, and don't forget to charge your Garmin.