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Community July 22, 2007

Posted by Joe in running, thoughts.
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During last week’s 3 mile runs through Geneva I wound up naturally greeting a lot of people, and it got me thinking. about the benefit running has to building a sense of community in the neighborhood.

Though I have only been running for 55 days I have become convinced that running connects me to my community in ways impossible when simply speeding through the neighborhood on my way to and from work. Now I not only drive through the neighborhood, but I run in it, allowing it to become a real part of my world. Running allows me to see new things – people and places I might otherwise miss while maintaining my typical, American, very busy schedule. Running gives me opportunity to greet the people who live near me (we call such people “neighbors”). A wave of the hand, nod of the head, or a friendly “How ya doin?” are simple courtesies that unfortunately continue to fade out of use in our culture. We are all so busy, moving so fast and when we are out of our houses we are typically sealed away in our cars so when we do see our neighbors the separation between us makes acknowledging one another seem almost inappropriate. But when I’m running I can really see my neighbor, speak to my neighbor, and hear him respond so that a simple smile or wave is natural. It’s welcomed. Such momentary gestures connect people and contribute to a sense of real community. This is where we live. Where I run. This is my community, and I love it. Running builds community – just another reason to love this sport.

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Comments»

1. Amy - July 23, 2007

I couldn’t have said it better. I have met more people that I would have never experienced if it wasn’t for running. Just tonight, I ran with a guy who is a fellow runner/blogger, but we wouldn’t have been connected it is hadn’t been for running (and blogging). Blogging and running….just one BIG small town.

2. Tom - July 24, 2007

Joe. You nailed it. Running builds community. I have a great neighborhood to run in and know many of the walkers, runners by name or at least recognize them for their regular routines. As a gardner, I also enjoy the yards this time of year. Exchanging greetings with runners and non-runners is fun. The other thing about running is how much runners enjoy conversations with each other–like on our blogs. There’s no such thing as a short running conversation with me. Great post!

3. Joe - July 24, 2007

Thanks guys. Speaking of building “community” I am interested in joining a running group out here. I know of one, but am not sure I will fit. I am afraid I’ll be unable to run “with” the group. Ignorance abounds in me on this stuff, bu I am going to check it out and see.


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