Although I'm loathe to refer to professional relationships as 'family' (any workplace that calls its cohort a 'family' is usually guilty of taking professional liberties that you'd only get away with if you're related by blood), I think it's fair to say that I'm more connected with some of my FrontRunner teammates than I am to at least 50% of my second cousins, the weird ones on my dad's side, at least. So, close enough. It certainly helps that we are connected through a shared passion - namely running. My family, I regret to inform you, do not generally subscribe to the benefits of moving at anything above a brisk walk.
For me, it's a privilege and a gift to get to know another human being and move slowly from being polite and a little bit formal, to discovering that someone born and raised on the other side of the world shares my penchant for dark and twisty humour, conversations that must never see the light of day, and waking up at 4am to go running around mountains in the dark. Absolute heaven.
If we're honest, social mobility isn't as mobile as we'd like to think. Birds of a feather tend to flock together and if you look at your social groups, they're often made up of people who are basically quite a lot like you. Enter the running group - the greatest way to give that rigid little box we all make friends in a good squashing. Running groups break down silos, social barriers and speed up that slightly dull process between someone being a stranger and you sending them screen shots of the outrageous things that dreadful boy texted you. We are a lot more similar than we give each other credit for, and it can be easy to forget when focusing on superficial differences instead of keying into the profound ways that we are all the same.
Making friends as an adult isn't always easy, but sharing a love of running breaks down all kinds of barriers; some we may be aware of, and others that perhaps aren't so easily apparent. This is one great reason to join a running community, and there are many groups throughout Dubai, where I live.The ASICS FrontRunner members are part of many of these - some of them are members, some are even founders. What unites us all is our passion for running, and that we support our group members, something that defines successful teams, and of course, successful families. Team-building, connecting and being a community leader are things that bring me purpose and underpin my passion for running with a greater meaning. I'm fortunate that for the most part, my teammates tolerate this.
If you're interested in joining a running community like ASICS FrontRunner, visit asics.com and apply. Good luck - who knows, we could be getting to know each other sooner than you think!
Communications & Media Consultant from Dubai
Coach: Lee Harris - Running. Rory Buck - Triathlon