Each time we move to a new duty station, I find that my running radar is on point—turned on high alert in search of new friends. Just yesterday at the pool, I spied a runner with a jogging stroller and fought the urge to shout out, “hey are you looking for a runner partner?”. An hour later, a mom came belting past the pool and running with her 3 kids. I immediately turned to my kids and mentioned that we need to find out who they are because they’re just like our family. Through running, we build a community.
Running, walking, biking through our neighborhood and local area is one way we find friends at each new place! Over the past few days, I’ve been running to the pool while my kids bike next to me. We stop, say hello to our neighbors along the way, and hope that eventually people will join! I’ve always wanted to make a shirt that says, “I’m a runner. Be my friend!” Although many of my neighbors may not be runners, running is how I build relationships with them— from a welcomed chat while I’m on a warm-up or recovery walk, offering encouragement as I run in the heat, or asking to join for a mile or 2. Through running, we build a community.
Less than a week of being at our new location and our family attended 3 local running events to get out there and explore the local community. Many runners turned out to work on the same base where we’re currently stationed and we’ve happened to bump into them several times on base. It’s a breath of fresh air to connect and make new friends with similar interests! Together, we commiserated about the intensity of the heat, the beauty of the local vegetation, and the places we have been with the military. Through running, we build a community.
No matter where we go, running will always be a giant part of our heart. And when we let our heart guide us, we know we will always find our community.