Runners Affinity – The Pro’s of Running

I have to admit, I used to be very jealous of smokers.

Yes, you read that right, I was jealous of smokers. Not for the indulgence in the act of smoking, that is still something I vehemently oppose, but rather for the affinity that all smokers worldwide appeared to share with each other. A Secret Society of Smoke if you will.

No, they do not wear any special rings or have secret hand shakes; the tell tale signs of smoking are all but apparent to anyone, however they share an affinity with other smokers, a bond.

It was a sec that did not differentiate based on gender, age, job or language. Smoking seemed almost a universal language on its own!

When it came to smoking, smokers were a tight-knit pack that looked out for their own. It was not uncommon to find complete strangers conversing in the street asking for a light or a spare cig, all sharing the same habit of firing up. Despite not being a smoker, I was approached several times “for a light“, to the point of which I used to carry around my own fancy lighter, just to feel accepted by this posse of puffers.

It made me wonder why this same approach could not be used for example say with a beautiful woman chewing a stick of gum. You could not just walk up to her and say, “hey baby, do you chew my brand?” or “got a spare stick on you love?” that was a one way ticket to a slap on the face or kick in the crotch, or if she’s really feisty, both.

Take the same situation and insert a cigarette instead of chewing gum, and you have a warm smile and even friendly conversation. Smokers recognize other smokers destructive tendencies and fuel them.

I used to envy that bond, until I discovered a similar, albeit entirely different affinity.

Runner’s Affinity.

Runner's Club - Affinity at its Finest

More often than not, when partaking in the act of jogging, you come across other like minded, able bodied individuals. Your paths are destined to cross, and at times your eyes will meet, and a form of recognition shall pass. Here is someone exerting effort to remain healthy, or to lose weight, or to train for a race. No matter the justification, the realization of the similarities serves as an immediate ice-breaker. It is not uncommon to find complete strangers smiling at each other, gesturing encouragement or voicing it aloud to each other, motivating each other to go the distance.

The Runner's Club

A kind word or gesture from a stranger is often the fuel required to continue, as the prevailing thought in every runners mind is always “why am I doing this?”, or “maybe I should stop now, now, now”.

Now we have our own Secret Society… of Sweat.

I have had people clap for me, shoot me two thumbs up, pat me on the back, smile at me and even run along side me despite being non-runners! Yes indeed, one was a charming middle-aged man who asked to join me, his exact words were, “maybe my belly will reduce and my hair will grow back/black and I will be youthful again!”

Here is to being forever young.

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