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How to reach out to running friends for support when you’re not running

“Friends help heal things.”

This little gem of a thought came to me yesterday after I spent an hour with a friend who met me at 5:30am to jog an ever-so-slow 2 miles around the track. Time that I sooooo much needed. Of course, the next thought that came to my mind was, “DUH, of course friends help you heal, Laura, you know that!” But I keep forgetting this little (big) fact. Yep, fact. I’m not going to stick in a statistic here that proves it, because I know you know.

The problem about this little fact though, is that for some unknown reason, I keep forgetting it. Especially when I need friendship the most.

I am injured. Yep. Again. Ugh (I seriously sighed heavily while typing that, so please insert that sound here). It has taken me a looong time to get back to 2 miles around a track.

I will spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that last June, on a fabulous trail run up and down a mountain, I decided to up-down one to many times and whomp – the crabbyfoot just couldn’t take it. A not-so-slow decline followed.

Denial kept me in the game for several months. I would pop out of my cave for a run with friends now and then, thinking I was on a comeback, only to realize, all I was doing was pushing it and keeping crabbyfoot, well, crabby.

I didn’t get it that what I really needed was FRIENDS. And time to let the foot heal.


What I was really feeling was lonely and out of the loop, like the new girl on the playground standing by herself on her first day of school. I just wanted someone to call me and say, “Hey, let’s hook up.”

But I didn’t want to be “that” friend

I didn’t want to be a pest, a burden on someone else’s busy life whose day is already filled to the brim with their own running, training, mommy-ing and working and and and….

I also didn’t want to push them away by telling them my sob story (again) of how my foot is not healing or that some other pain popped up or even *gasp*, my worst fear that it will NEVER heal.

Yep, I not only needed someone to go chillaxin’ with, but someone that would listen to all my yuckies. The stupid, the scary, the embarrassing. All that. Because not only am I injured, I also have life happening and there’s challenges just with THAT, so oh my my, I don’t want them to have to deal with all that too.

And, just for kicks, let’s say you’re menopausal and emotions are swirling around inside of you like a tornado. (If you’re not there yet, think about when you were 15 and stressing about. like. totally. like. everything.)


Bravery is its own reward

You have big-girl pants. They are in your drawer behind that top you never wear because it might be a bit short and show that little (or not so little) muffin top. And you have dark chocolate. And tea. And beer. And chips. So, grab a few comforts and text your girl friend and tell her what you need.

Because here’s what happens if you don’t…

You will take longer to heal. Sure, the foot, or the hammy, or the IT band, or the calf strain will get better eventually. But the next time it happens (we’re runners, so yeah, it will happen), you will heal from within while you’re healing your runner parts.

Let’s put that in big print….

Heal from within while you’re healing your runner parts

There’s a special little word that can help you do this: trust

You’re not opening up to the dude on the street corner. You’re sharing with your friend. Spill it. Let them help you heal. Don’t be a tough ass.  Save that for when you’re up and running again.

Here’s some things I did recently to encourage my own healing:

  • I texted my friend that I needed her to check in with me and see how I’m doing and be funny and text me more. (Gawd! That sounds so corny and it was so hard to do. But boy did it work!)
  • I called a friend whom I knew would go out and paint the town with me and we’re going to a concert this week
  • I asked another friend to go on a hilly walk with me instead of going alone (and maybe sulking because it’s not a hilly run)
  • I’m getting all real with you guys because I’m thinking you might feel like this sometime and could use some encouragement too. 🙂

Are you trusting and healing? Or are you having a hard time reaching out? What is one thing you could do today to ask for the help you need?

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