Last September, as we and a few of our friends were discussing some group training runs that we had done to prepare for a relay race, the idea was tossed around of starting a runners club that would meet once a week for a communal dash. The conversation ended with all of us deciding to give it a go. Jason and I ran anyway so why not smack the asphalt with some buddies?
We collectively elected to operate our club with homogeny of responsibility a.k.a. we would take turns “hosting” our runs. The job of choosing locations and arranging our gatherings would alternate between members each week.
I offered to create a Facebook group page for us so we would have a means of communicating with each other easily about our meetings. I also took it upon myself, because no one else offered any creative assistance, to name our organization. I decided to call us the R.A.C., an acronym for The Run Around Club. Utterly brilliant, right? Even more brilliant is the hidden joke in that name. For the greater part of my life my family and friends have referred to me as Rac so I kind of named this club after myself. What an ingenious egomaniac I am!
Jason and I offered to plan the R.A.C.’s inaugural run. Only 4 people showed up for that historic sprint but it was enough to get the movement going. I guess I shouldn’t have set everything up and taken all that initial initiative though. Everyone else acclimated very quickly, virtually instantly, to not having to be involved in the scheduling and location selecting. After multiple members shrugged off taking their turn at planning, Jason and I somehow became the “hosts” of every week from now until forever. Alas, why must I be so organized and responsible…and bossy? It almost always comes back to bite me. Jason and I now do pretty much all the coordinating, communicating, strategizing, energizing, and fraternizing for the R.A.C.
Whether due to the perseverance of our group’s great leaders, which I am gratuitously patting myself on the back for, or to the determination of our members, our club has been a huge success. Attendance at the R.A.C. has steadily increased since its inception. In the first month or two we never had more then 4 or 5 runners at each of our meetings but now we usually have about 7. We jogged outside in the fall until the sun set too prematurely to permit this and then we switched to a combo of outdoor Saturday and indoor evening runs. We’ve dashed over all manner of trail and track as we’ve diligently hit the pavement every week. The R.A.C. has only defaulted once and that was while Jason and I were away on vacation and therefore unable to bestow order to the entire universe.
The R.A.C. has proven itself remarkable. It motivates people to be more active than they ever thought they could be persuaded to be and it transforms what some would consider to be a miserable pursuit into a thrilling social experience. As we scuttle along we chat, race each other, and forget that we are actually exercising. The peer pressure and competitive challenge do wonders too I might add. Jason’s the superhero among us and he inspires us, or shames us, into picking up our pace a little. Seeing some club members try to outrun him makes me giggle a bit but keep it up boys.
I look forward to seeing my friends accomplish that which they didn’t think was possible as the R.A.C. continues to grow and outpace itself. Many of our members have already set lofty goals for themselves to push their progress along. Excellent! Long may the R.A.C. continue to flatten the flabby and firm the infirmed while entertaining all!