Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Friendship In The Ocean State

on July 30, 2014

Social anxiety doesn’t make it easy to make friends. It’s not easy to go to group fitness classes. It’s not easy to go to races. I’ve written about it before, but this will be a different kind of post. This one will be about friendship.

Through my racing, I’ve become a tad bit more outgoing. I line up elbow to elbow with these strangers and you can’t help but talk to them sometimes. This always helps take your mind off the nerves, which I still get for every race.



When I started going to Unleashed, it was because a coworker and I were going to run Tough Mudder together and wanted to train properly for it. Group classes horrify me (and still do, to some extent) but I had this coworker to go with so I’d at least know someone. As time went on, things changed and she stopped coming, so it was either stop going or just suck it up and be brave to continue my training. I chose to keep training because I knew I needed the obstacle specific training they could offer me, unlike Planet Fitness.

As time went on, I got to know some of the “regulars” who I now consider my friends. I’ve been thinking about writing this update of sorts for a few weeks now, but two things happened in the last week that made me want to write it now.

Both of the cookouts we were invited to last weekend were by people from Unleashed. At the first cookout, we were all sitting around talking and I made some comment about not having family or friends in RI. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but it was something in the past that at the time I didn’t have people to do stuff with – not important. One of the women then said “well now you do” or something to that affect. It made me really happy, probably more than she realized at the time.



Yesterday, another friend made a Facebook status in the Unleashed Racing Teams group about how she’s never made so many new friends in her life (again, I’m paraphrasing). I totally agreed with her and told her as much – and I wasn’t the only one.

I’ve lived in RI for 10 years now. I’ve made more friends in the last 7 months than I had in that entire time living here. The anxiety hasn’t gotten much easier, but I’ve learned to deal with it better, and I have these new friends to thank for that.








18 responses to “Friendship In The Ocean State

  1. TheCatssMeoww says:

    Good job on killing your anxiety for the most part! (:

  2. piratebobcat says:

    Great to hear! Keep it up! Remember, runners love talking about running, just ask if they’re training for anything to get things started…

  3. This makes me so happy. I am struggling with making some new friends as many of mine live to far away. I am hoping some running groups can bring me the same success unleashed has brought you.

  4. Julie says:


  5. Yay – this is so great! I suffer from social anxiety but have found that running/fitness/being healthier has increased my self-confidence and given my a new way to approach people. Finding people with common interests gives a first step to start up the small talk too!

  6. It’s funny how many doors exercise and fitness open up. It’s something to bond over and/or commiserate about. I hope it just keeps getting better for you!

  7. I love this post! I feel the same way about lining up with “the strangers”. You can’t help but talk to some of them! Sometimes I am antisocial though and keep to myself, LOL.

    My husband suffers from severe anxiety, it is something that plagues him on a daily basis.

    I think attending those two cookouts is a huge deal for you, great job!:)

  8. dgobs says:

    This post makes me happy 🙂 I’ve got some social anxiety too and while getting active and joining a run club has helped, I still show up to run club events and stand awkwardly in the corner until someone comes up to talk to me. I’m glad you’re working on dealing with yours… I need to get better at that too!

    • Courtney says:

      Yep, exactly. I totally understand! I still stand quietly off to the side at Unleashed if there isn’t anyone I know there for the class I’m waiting on.

  9. I’m glad that you are doing better! I’m working towards breaking out of my shell too. It’s still hard and awkward at times but just putting yourself out there is really awesome!

  10. d20girl says:

    That is wonderful! I have a similar problem in that I stayed in my college town and ALL of my friends moved away (mostly to the West Coast, so far far away). I am so socially insecure that making new friends is abysmally hard. So #1 AWESOME job pushing through the anxiety and going anyways and #2 you’ve given me hope that maybe if I get involved in our local running groups I might be able to do the same. Great post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: