By Christopher Rodriguez and Coach Jay Stephenson
John L. Parker once wrote that runners “gab like magpies”. When I first started running I thought I would be like that, but found out that I didn’t have any breath to talk or even to notice what was going on around me. Over the years however, I have grown strong and mean. What does this have to do with gabbing you ask? I now do hours of running alone, with a few people or just one other running buddy. I have noticed that my ability to talk has slowly turned from one-word answers to full on sentences and conversations!
I never realized how much I enjoyed gabbing like a magpie until I got in the habit of talking while running. Talks for me have been about everything from racing to colorful debates on political issues like Feminism and Fair Tax. To make it worse, running has started to make positive things happen thanks to my big mouth!
First, I usually form a deep bond with people that I share the “mile of trials” with. Over the years I think this bond has been made even deeper and stronger still by all those talks I have had.
Secondly, and most importantly, is that the issues of life often get solved on the run as I bounce ideas off a buddy’s head while we run. Then again, that is probably just the so called a runner’s high.
So if you are high enough to loosen up your jaw for a complete stranger, what are you going to say? Usually the first thing that people talk about on the run is how long they have been running, where they are from and how fast they are.
Funny that in a social setting, say a dinner party, this is not the usual thing people talk about when they first meet each other? For example: “Hi my name is Christopher and I like to run and I live outside of Atlanta and do Real Estate” should be on a card for me to handout when I go to a social event because that is the first thing people usually ask about. At this so called “typical get-together” people are not stuck side by side for an hour over hill and dale.
The sharing of hardships on a run makes it so that the typical run starts with a conversation and results in an improved relationship. The strength of relationships built on a run is similar to that of members of active military groups or disaster survivors. The best part is the typical rules to conversation and friendships are usually invalid. For example, if a snot rocket is launched out of your nose in an unexpected fashion a similar unexpected factoid might loosed from your running partner.
While on a run conversations can begin unexpectedly. Some say this freedom and ease of conversation is due to the chemicals that are released while running or the large doses of oxygen going in your brain on the way to your legs and lungs. Running with someone is a unique place to share your thoughts. Maybe it is the fact that you don’t have to look at each other that clears the air to talk while you run.
That being said, conversations that make you passionate have a positive affect on your run! Talk about dating, jobs or an upcoming race and you might start running faster because you get excited! Talk about a funny story and you might slow down with laughter.
Communication is a natural and important part of human behavior and as luck would have it, so is physical activity. If you can’t tell, I love running and I enjoy sharing this joy with others. John L. Parker wrote something that describes this well “the time on a grandfather clock doesn’t accurately reflect the time it takes to run ten miles”. This was simply stating that talking while on a run makes the run go by faster. A lot of people talk about a lot of different things for different reasons but in the end, people need to exercise and they need to talk, so why not kill two birds with one stone? After all if mental training is therapy, and physical training is running then running and talking must be really great!
-Christopher Rodriguez is a Real Estate novelist, meaning that he enjoys the novelty of his Real Estate salesman profession and he resides outside of Atlanta Georgia. Christopher runs over 3000 miles a year with as many people as he can find and take pleasure in writing about himself in the 3rd person.