I’ve met some amazing people through my computer. People who have touched my life on a daily basis simply by seeing some words from them pop up in my world as i sit quietly in the morning, cup of coffee in hand, enjoying a few peaceful moments.
I am not a social person. I don’t like parties. I don’t like any sort of gathering actually. I prefer the company of my family or nothing at all. Yet i crave human contact, to feel connection to people. It’s a strange sort of world inside my head. If i didn’t have my computer it would have been a very lonely life for me. Yet somehow i have muddled through this social anxiety and forged real, true bonds with some people. People that i can now call friends.
I ran my eighth half-marathon this past weekend. It was good, i did well, i felt like i wasn’t going to make it, but i did. It was similar to the rest of them, deeply satisfying, a personal triumph. The story doesn’t change that much from race to race. What was different this time was the people that were there.
When i started running i began to seek out other runners through all my online activities. I friended every runner i could find on twitter, i joined Daily Mile. I asked questions, because there were and still are, a ton of them. Throughout the past two years i have gotten to know several local runners through my computer and gradually they have become friends. I am training with them for the Vancouver Marathon. On sunday evenings we all compare our long runs from the week, how training is going and offer tidbits of wisdom and encouragement. It is a very special thing.
At the half-marathon last sunday there were five of us there. We chatted a bit before the race, we cheered each other on as we ran and passed each other at various points, they encouraged me as i struggled and i high-fived them whenever possible. Joy welling in me. At the finish the fastest member of our group had long since crossed the line, he ran back on the course and ran me in the last kilometer. He was so encouraging and it was just such a wonderful thing. It was an experience i will never forget.