While I was at the iRun booth at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon expo last weekend, I got the chance to chat with a lot of interesting people, and even got within 10 feet of Simon Whitfield. But one of the more memorable experiences of the day was when a gal who looked vaguely familiar came up and reintroduced herself – we had gone to high school together.
We didn’t really know each other in high school – I mean, we knew OF each other, because her older sister and my older brother were in the same year, and, well, it was a pretty small school. She was a year younger than me, so we never had a class together; we were in the band at the same time, but played different instruments. Maybe we had things in common, but I have no idea because we just never had the occasion to find out.
But when she came up to talk to me at the expo, over a decade since we’d last passed in the halls, there was this instant excitement, that moment of “you’re a runner too? That’s awesome!” I found out she was running the half in preparation for her first marathon in a few weeks at the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon.
She did really well in the half marathon, so of course I had to find her on facebook and send a congratulatory note; now we’ve had a week-long conversation about nothing but running.
And that’s the great thing about running. I mean, would she have come up to me to say hi if she had noticed me at the zoo, or a baseball game? “Hey, you like overpriced foot-long hotdogs too? Awesome!” Somehow, it just isn’t the same. Even if she had said hello in some other venue, that would have been the end of it – I can’t see myself looking her up afterwards to discuss the feeding demonstration at the polar bear exhibit or gripe about the outcome of the game.
But because we have this similar lifestyle, because we both have friends who think we’re crazy but also envy us, because we both get up early on the weekends and have blisters and chafing – because we run, we suddenly we have so much in common.