October 1, 2020

Showing Up

Running with Rob and Steve.

On Fridays I run with former work buddies Steve and Rob. I was looking forward to the run last Friday and thought “perfect day – perhaps a 10.” As I unlocked the car door I realized my gym bag was at home without enough time to get it. I could call and tell them I goofed; instead I decide to just go and at least touch base before they run.

They don’t seem to understand that I can’t run without my gear. They simply set about finding a way. Rob offers an extra pair of (really big) running shoes, Steve has a Reds tee shirt and my old work locker contains a towel and clean baggy socks. What about shorts? Steve goes to his truck and we scrounge the other lockers. No luck. Rob remembers a pair of shorts in the other locker room – way too big but with a draw string. I make the run and, even with shoes too big, baggy socks and baggy pants, do not hurt myself. It was a memorable run, a “happily ever after” lunch hour.

Steve and I have now run together most Mondays and Fridays since 1991, the year we moved to the same building at Comprehensive Mental Health Services (now Meridian). Rob joined us in 2004. I’ve run over 4200 miles with Steve; we have spent over 1600 hours of getting ready to run, running and getting clean to go back to work.

At some point in the process, we became friends . . . very good friends. I learned with Steve how to make friends. In part, it is a process of showing up. Did we become friends at mile one, 10, 100 or 1000?

I don’t know; it just happens when you learn to trust that someone will be there and eventually, you talk and share. Showing up in a reliable way is under rated. It’s a job skill, a responsibility skill and yes, a friend skill.

People often tell me they want close relationships and it seems they are in a hurry. They want them now. I suppose it can sometimes work that way, but suspect more often the process is, in part, showing up and getting to know and trust in a gradual way.

I now think of this time on Monday and Friday time to be with my buddies. It just happens that the way we do it is running.

Find people you like showing up with and do with them activities that are legal, moral and ethical and that you enjoy. Be patient and something good is likely to happen. You may even have “happily ever after” moments.

Bill

Comments

  1. Your comments channel the advice of that well-known expert on human relationships, Woody Allen, who said, “Ninety percent of success in life is just showing up.”