I love all of my friends. If I didn't love them, well, they wouldn't be my friends. I also love running—and the latter has caused more than a few altercations and disagreements with the former over the years.
Being friends with someone who is passionate about running is undoubtedly a unique experience. In fact, I often wish I could provide new non-running friends with a few disclaimers up front.
It would read something like this:
I like running.1 of 13
If I didn't like running, I would have quit a long time ago. It doesn't have to make sense to you or anyone else.
I don't need to talk running.2 of 13
Listen, I love running—and I'll admit that I enjoy talking about it. I know you don't run, though, so I probably won't bring it up. I am a runner, but there is more to me than that. Our friendship actually provides a welcome break from thinking or talking about running.
I never regret a run.3 of 13
There have been many late nights in my life that I've regretted the next morning. Running has never made me feel that way, and maybe that's part of why I like it. I always feel better after a run, even one that didn't go as planned. If I choose to go to bed early instead of going out with you, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. Please don't take it personally.
Running centers me.4 of 13
Everyone has their way of coping in this crazy world. Running is my coping mechanism. When I'm happy, I celebrate with a run. When I'm sad, I let my tears out on a run. Running brings me back to my center and helps me figure out what's important and what isn't.
If I complain about running, it doesn't mean I want to quit.5 of 13
There are going to be days that I'm frustrated with running in general—or, specifically, how my running is going. It doesn't mean I want to quit. I know I said I don't need to talk running, but occasionally I'm going to bring it up because I see you as part of my support system. I'd love for you to remind me how much I like it and suggest that I'm simply be going through a rough patch. I don't need you to understand how I'm feeling but I would love your support.
Running isn't something I do for just exercise.6 of 13
Running is so much more than just running to me. It's not just something I do to burn calories. It teaches me who I am and gives me confidence. It has changed my life and given me so much more than I ever dreamed.
Running keeps me out of trouble.7 of 13
While I love dancing the night away—and oh how I love dancing the night away—I can't do that every weekend. The older I get, the harder it is for me to recover from those nights. I prefer waking up and feeling good about myself. Strange as it may seem, I now look forward to going to bed early and waking up while the rest of the world is sleeping. Of course, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the invite. Some times I'll say yes and gladly party all night long. Other nights, not so much.
I'm trying to find balance.8 of 13
I like partying and running, I like being silly and serious. I often think that life would be easier if I didn't have so many things that I like to do or want to do. But this is me and I'm trying to find a balance the best I can. I don't always get it right, but it's not for a lack of trying.
You don't have to ask me about any of my races.9 of 13
It's really great when you text me and tell me good luck before a big race. If you forget, though, don't worry about it. I'm not upset. Life happens, and while running is a huge part of my life, I don't need it to be a big part of your life. I truly feel loved when you show interest, but don't feel obligated to ask me about it.
I can still hang out with you on days I run long.10 of 13
Yes, long runs often make me tired, but I don't have to lay around all day. In fact, I really like active recovery and would love to hang out with you after a run!
You can run if you want to.11 of 13
If you want to run, I'd be glad to help you get started. I don't bring it up because I don't want you to feel like I'm pushing it on you. If I can do it, you can do it—I mean that sincerely. We can start wherever you're able to. if you can't run more than a few steps, I'd be happy to run those steps with you and then walk the rest of the way.
You don't have to run to be my friend.12 of 13
Seriously, I don't need you to run, or to understand why I do. I sincerely love that not everyone in my life is a runner. I like you just the way you are. Differences are what makes the world great.