Fraser Street Run Club takes over the road in East Vancouver

Overcoming social anxiety to make fitness friends

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I know I said I wanted to come out of my shell, but I expected a much more gradual process than this. I didn’t just come out of my shell, it feels like I exploded out. But is it too much too soon? Is this amount of progress sustainable? Or will my introverted tenancies get overloaded by all of this socialization and pull me back into my alone space? I’m proud of myself, though!

November Project has been great for me, and it opened the door to more. Their workouts are hard but their hearts are soft. They don’t scare me anymore!

I also joined the Fraser Street Run Club for what they call Feel Good Friday, where they wildneedybufflehead-size_restrictedpromised an easy 5k. I was really hoping their “easy” is similar to my “easy” (it wasn’t, I ran pretty hard to keep up!) But another reason I ran hard was to get to that very special finish line, #thetesttruck by Lululemowasre waiting for us! The Test Truck is a beautiful silver truck with a treadmill in the back, and they ask you to try on gear and test it out and give them feedback. *Psst* I got to keep the pants! The Test Truck drew a really large crowd which made me really nervous, but once we started running I found a couple of ladies to run with who were going my pace and my heart was at ease.

I also registered for my local Parkrun which is something I learned about at the November Project cheer station for the SeaWheeze half marathon. If you’ve never heard of a Parkrun before, it’s a weekly timed 5k that started in the UK and has since sprung up all over the place. Parkrun Canada just celebrated its first year anniversary, and my local Parkrun is slowly creeping up on its first birthday as well. It’s 100% free and 100% run by volunteers.

Jess crosses the finish line at a 5k race.
Crossing my first Parkrun finish line – Photo by a Parkrun volunteer

After I registered I got an email from them saying that they were very short on volunteers this week and I told them I would happily forego my first run to help them out. They really wanted me to have my first run so they assigned me a role that would still allow me to run. I’m going to be writing the weekly run report which is like a mini race recap for their blog. Look at me, already “guest posting” on other running blogs! 😀

This has been such a great week but I feel exhausted after each event because it takes so much out of me to be around large groups. I’m hoping this is a muscle I can build over time just like the rest and it will get easier the more often I go.

Fellow introverts/social anxiety sufferers: what are your tips and coping mechanisms for putting yourself out there and not allowing you to hold yourself back?

Until next time, finish your coffee and go run!

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