Finding My Pack - Linda Connolly
Finding My Pack
I always enjoyed the solitude of running. I still do. But there is something to be said for finding your “pack” – that group of people that provide that extra element to your adventures.
With social media, it is easier than ever to link up with others that enjoy the same activity that you do. But your “pack” is not just a group of people that like to run. It’s not even the camaraderie that you feel at run group, or at the start line or during a race with your fellow runners.
When reflecting on what the difference is between the two, I came up with a little list of the why I considered these people as my pack, and what was so important about it that I felt the need to share my musings:
There is no competition within the pack. Don’t get me wrong, these runners are competitive and with good reason, but it just does not exist between us;
When you are having a drop in enthusiasm, they pick you up – sometimes literally – dust you off, tell you to stop being precious and encourage you to go on;
They check in on you make sure that you haven’t forgotten to fuel, that you are keeping warm enough, hydrated enough;
They do not care what you wear, and join in the joy of you having a new piece of gear to try out;
They happily talk about running/gear/nutrition/hydration/events for hours without their eyes
glazing over in boredom;
They share your excitement of seeing the most spectacular views; exploring a new trail; being almost blown off the side of a mountain in gale force winds; scrub bashing; rock climbing or navigating obstacle courses of trees, boulders, fallen logs and washed away tracks.
Lastly, they laugh with you at what can sometimes seem to be a ridiculous choice of hobby.
When you are putting yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable, having people you can absolutely rely on to share that experience with, is what provides that element to enable you to be able to get the most enjoyment out of the adventure.
I have my pack. We call ourselves the Usual Suspects, but on reflection there really is nothing “usual” about any of my pack. We’ve all completed marathons and ultras. We spend half our weekends running. We range in age from 30-50+. But I tell you what, there is no other group that I would want to be on the side of a mountain stuck knee deep in mud with.