running and neighbors

I came to an interesting realization today…

Running is good for you. Ask any runner, and they will probably be able to name at least two or three of the positive ways running has impacted their life. It’s an accomplishment, it makes me healthier, it makes me stronger, and so forth.

Today I added another item to my list. Running brings me closer to my community.

Since I’ve begun running, naturally I’ve begun exploring my neighborhood. I’ve figured out the distances of certain streets and gained a surprisingly intimate knowledge of the hills near my home. But my familiarity is even beyond that…

Over the weekend, I ran a familiar 3.1-mile route around my neighborhood. A neighbor who lives along this route was in his yard with his dog, a very sweet and well-behaved Schnauzer. I met him shortly after I began running, and I’ve seen him several times since.

I realized today that it’s not just “Nice Old Man with Schnauzer”, as I’ve come to think of him. I know a lot more about my neighborhood today. There are other people I’ve gotten to know. I can tell you a surprising amount about the dogs in my neighborhood. I’ve even become familiar with all the homes in my neighborhood that are a unique color or have unique architecture. All because I run.

Has running brought you closer to your neighbors? How?