I had always enjoyed running, it was just something I loved to do for fun. I was not kitted up, and I did not take it very seriously so when I decided I would like to join a club, it was a bit daunting. I was worried that I would be met with of all of those experienced runners who have all the gadgets and gismo’s to tell them how far, how fast, and how well they have been running during a session. I had none of those things.
All I had was a desire to run, and the knowledge that I did not like running alone. Another reason for wanting join a club is that I wanted to meet some people and maybe make some friends with similar interests as I had.
So I worked up the courage and took the leap, joining my local running club. From the start I was made to feel welcome and accepted. In fact the people felt like long lost family or friends. Everybody was eager to get to know me and to include me in their activities. It was great.
Six months down the line
The first six months were fantastic, I was running regularly, slowly starting to participating in road races and club activities and getting to know everybody. I started off volunteering at races, supporting my fellow club runners as they took the challenge of racing. Then I started to get involved running, first the shorter 5K distances and then moved on to the half marathons. I really enjoyed the running and the fellowship I found at the club, as well as their support and encouragement. I don’t think I would be running competitively without them.
The people at the club are not just about running. Most have other hobbies that coincide with mine. The outdoors is one of our favorite places to be, and if we are not running, we are riding bike, hiking or doing some other interesting activity.
Sometimes we do some really different, one of the club members is an avid skateboarder and brought his newest pride and joy to the club during one of our club fun days. The children loved the electronic skateboard he brought, and after explaining how electric skateboards work to the group, the children, and adults, were let loose to enjoy themselves. We took turns running along with the skateboard and it was great. In fact one of my non-running friends now joins me on my morning jog, he just rides his board behind me to keep me company as he is not a runner.
I am so happy that I took the plunge and joined the club, it has changed my life for the better. I am becoming a more competitive runner and enjoy the challenge of the frequent road races we enter. In fact, I have come so far in just six months that I was looking forward to entering my first marathon, another daunting proposition.
What happened a year later?
So over the past six months I have been training furiously getting ready to enter my first marathon. It is hard work but I have a goal and a lot of encouragement and support from my club mates.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into running a marathon. You need to be mentally prepared as as much as physically fit. You need to train correctly too. Luckily many of my fellow club mates had run marathons before, they helped me to get myself ready for the challenge.
Finally the day came, almost a year to the day that I had joined the club. I and a few of my fellow club runners stood together at the start line ready to run the race of our lives. The race itself was hard, although I enjoyed every minute of it.
Although our group did not always run together during the race, all along the way there was support from club members who were not participating. They were there supporting with their friends and family in tow.
When I crossed the finish line, I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. When I received my medal, I was overwhelmed with emotion, and all my club friends and family were there to celebrate my achievement with me.
Running is good for you in so many ways, running in a club, well that is great for both body and soul and I would recommend it highly to anybody who is looking for a group activity that keeps them physically fit, and gets them together with likeminded people.