While visiting family in Pennsylvania over the holidays, my sister Lisa and I packed in as many runs together as possible. We live near each other in San Francisco, but since I’m in Montana for the winter, we’ve been really missing our run time.
On our last run in PA before she returned to SF, we talked about how substantial and satisfying our run chats are. While we always enjoy hanging out, our running conversations are always the deepest, most focused and most meaningful.
So we decided that we wouldn’t let 1,000 miles and a small time difference keep us from our quality time. Yesterday, we had our first tele-run … she, in a tank top in warm SF, me in several layers, hat and gloves in snowy Montana. Connected by iPhones and headphones, we got to enjoy our favorite way to hang out … while huffing up hills and pushing for another mile.
While I’ll probably trade running for snowshoeing at our next virtual meet up (at least then I can wear warm boots), our tele-run was nearly as good as running side by side.
If you’ve ever lost yourself in deep conversation on the trail, felt a special kinship with the fellow yogi on the mat next to you, or bonded with a fellow skier over an exhilarating run, then you know what I’m talking about. These shared physical experiences — somehow — have power to bring people together.
But what is it about fitness specifically that has the power to connect?
My belief is that it’s about the heightened focus and attention you can achieve while exercising. It takes serious willpower (at least for me) to resist multitasking while I’m having a conversation on the phone, via chat or email. But when I’m hiking, or walking, or doing something else physical, I’m better able to tune in and listen — really listen. Whether it’s to my own thoughts and intuition, or to my sister. And it’s in that present and engaged state of mind where you can connect more deeply.
I look forward to more tele-runs (or snowshoes) with Lisa, and with anyone else who wants to connect!
P.S. These bluetooth headphones are the bomb for tele-walks, runs or hikes. The audio quality is clear for both parties, there are no cords to get tangled in, and the super-secure ear buds won’t budge. Of course, they’ll play your music, too.