If you would have told me I would be running a support group or part of a “tribe” seven or eight years ago I would have laughed in your face. I also would have been a complete ass. In fairness, my donkey tendencies were part of a survival pattern I had created for myself at a very young age. The lone wolf routine had gotten me through a lot of hard times, but it inhibited me from growing any further because of it. There’s a lot you can do in this world alone, and a lot you can achieve by yourself. But…..you can do a lot more with the right group of friends, support network, or “tribe” of like minded people working towards similar goals.
My first introduction to this was a running group my running Dad introduced me to. He brought me to a few of their group runs and admittedly I was shocked. Not only was everyone kind and inviting, they were encouraging. Everyone was there to support each other. Not a single person knew who I was and they just accepted me right into their community.
Most of my experience with other runners has been purely positive. Most of us aren’t highly competitive and we’re all out there for our own reasons. However, that common connection makes a bridge for all of us to cross together. Over the years I stayed in contact with a lot of the runners, but not regularly. Then I got to the point of being MIA entirely. I wasn’t running much and watching other people run made me feel like a failure. So I evaded that network of positivity and encouragement and slipped even further away from what I needed.
But…..I wasn’t ready to face that yet.
Thank You Christine
Last year I had been through a lot and I was bound and determined to run twenty miles by myself. I also wanted to crush it at Detroit’s 2018 international half marathon. And…..I did, but it wasn’t just because I decided to put my nose to the ground and do the work, it was because of the support network I had developed.
A running sister and I had reconnected and early in that year she and I set some pretty heavy goals for ourselves. We were both full of doubt and apprehension. We also had a few other sisters we stayed connected to as well, but it was her that I daily spoke to, and she to me. We voiced our concerns, our fears, and shared our moments of glory, our own wisdom, but mostly we were just THERE for each other. We had created our own support network between each other. I remember messaging her at the end of a miserable 17 mile run. I didn’t think I could finish, and her warm words of encouragement and faith in me got me to the end. It was a slow go, but I didn’t quit.
So….here I ramble. But now, even time since then has past and she and I stay connected. She is my first and foremost friend that I share my running life with. As huge as running is in my life, that’s a pretty significant thing. I still have our other sisters that I remain in regular contact with and check in with too. Now, I offer myself to others to keep accountable, because I’ve seen the benefit of it.
What Does It All Mean?
I often give running tips or share lessons of my continued journey and I usually bring everything to a focus and break it down, but this is more than that. You need people in your life who are going to support you no matter what. You need people that will kick your butt when you need it, but are there to hug you after. You need people in your life that are like minded and can share your passions.
You need people like this IN YOUR LIFE. And….you will also need to be one of those people.
The Lone Wolf Finds It’s Pack
You can do it on your own, but it’s a lot better to have that support network or your “tribe” or whatever you want to call it. It’s great to have someone pump you up when you are down, or share some wisdom. But it’s really amazing to share those victories with people that were there the whole journey. The people that really know how hard you worked to achieve those goals. Those are the people that reminded you how awesome you were when you couldn’t remember yourself. That makes it all worth it.
So yeah, there’s some pretty cool benefits to having a support network, group, or buddy, but ultimately it’s a lot more meaningful than that. I promise you no matter what happens for the rest of your life, as people do tend to come and go, the people you’ve shared these experiences will remain dear to you for rest of your life.
“Accountability with Header” in a closed support group to stay on track of whatever life goal it is you are working towards. Please feel free to send a request and I will add you!