And I'm not afraid to make plans with someone I've never even met before. Which is what I did this past Saturday. A facebook group I'm part of for trail running in West Michigan had a post. This lady was coming to the area for vacation and was looking for someone to go trail running with her. I'd been to the trail before, but never for running, so I thought, "Sure. Why not?"
Apparently, according to one friend, there should have been multiple reasons why not.
Well, I'd never even thought about it. She's a runner. I just assumed that would make her cool. I'm so glad it worked out! We got a long really well and have made plans to go running together again later this year when she's back in town because we got on really well.
And while we were running, we talked. A LOT. Including about how weird it is that as a group, us runners can be a trusting bunch. Always looking for someone to share our pain and hit the trails with us. This lady was more worried about running alone than she was about possibly running with a psycho. And I was more excited to make a new running friend than to think that maybe I might be meeting a future stalker.
Kinda stupid, when you think about it.
As we ran, she told me about the first time she had come out to run these trails. Like this time, she had posted on the facebook page, looking for a running buddy. And one of the main guys in the group had volunteered to meet her out there. So she showed up, and here comes this guy, from out of the woods. He's covered in snow. There was ice and frozen snot in his beard. He looks CRAZY. And she told me, her first thoughts were, "I'm going running with an ax murderer." And then she found out he had camped in the woods the night before their run. And had all his gear strapped to a sled that he was planning on towing along during his run. So she kindly offered to stow his gear in her car, thinking all the while "Well, at least if he kills me, his stuff is stuck in my car... They might be able to catch my killer using that kind of stuff..."
Turns out he wasn't a serial killer. Turns out he's not even crazy. Well, unless you call those serious Ultra Trail Runners who pack their own gear and camp in the winter crazy. I do. But it's a different kind of crazy. It's not the kind of crazy where you end up with your body chopped into a million pieces. It's the good kind of crazy. The kind that a little inspiring to see someone so dedicated to their running that they're willing to go to extreme lengths to improve.
And so it is, with runners. In all honesty, we're all a little crazy. We put ourselves through pain, we get up at ridiculous hours of the day to train. We think losing toenails is normal. Other people look at us and shake their heads in disbelief.
Which is why we all get along so well. We have this common craziness that we share. So I will continue to make new running friends. And I might have a contingency plan for if they end up being crazy... Well, the wrong kind of crazy. ;)