The Hidden Community: How I found strength in strangers

When I set out on my running journey I thought it would be a mostly solo affair. I knew that once I got stronger and fitter, I’d be able to join in a ParkRun or local 10k and maybe meet some people there that were in the same boat as me!

What I didn’t expect from sharing my story and videos online, is that I would find a hidden community of runners and fitness enthusiasts whose sole purpose is to keep pushing each other forward. There are hundreds and thousands of people just like me out there who share their thoughts, tips, good and bad days (and sometimes really bad days), to make sure you know you’re not alone on your journey. Each one of them is ready to drop you a line, answer your questions and just give you a positive push in the right direction that makes that next run feel less lonely.

In the past two weeks since I’ve been using my twitter account, I’ve had great conversations with complete strangers. We’ve talked about running gear, what to think about when running, how to get over distance humps and suggestions for my first 10k race! (I’ve also discussed lots of off topic things like Lego collections too!)

The thing is, I’ve never used twitter for this before. In my past twitter life, I’ve had an account, followed a few things I’ve been interested in and generally been a bit snarky to people. But over the past few weeks, I’ve come to discover the real use of social media (I guess the clue is in the name!) and how no matter what community you might be looking for, it’s out there and ready to take you in with open arms. Don’t be afraid to ask people for advice or their opinions, most are ready to message to you back straight away and give you a helping hand.

So the next time I head out on the road, I know I’m not running solo, I’ve got a whole team behind me, pushing me on to do better, to run that bit harder and reminding me to inspire the next group of would-be runners to get their shoes on!

Thank you to everyone who follows me, I really value your time and your willingness to help. I hope one day I can repay the favor.

Andrew

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