Fitting In

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

To me, fitting in is an important part of life.
When I first started running, I felt like I didn't fit in, but after more training and racing, I finally feel like I belong in the running community. With triathlon, I still feel like I'm finding my place.

You may not guess, but I have a hard time fitting in with new groups of people. I tried joining up with the local triathlon club, the Cyclonauts, but I felt way out of my league. I tried riding with the bike shop's girls riding group, which was better, but I didn't feel 100% at. When I first started working out at Bia Fitness, I felt like I didn't belong either.

When everyone in a group already knows each other, I feel like the odd man out. I feel unwanted, or like I just don't fit in. I know that its not true, but I just have such a big fear of not being liked, that I freak out a little in my head.

I've been working out at Bia Fitness for about 9 months now. When I first started, I vaguely knew a few people from my gym. I still felt uncomfortable. I didn't chat with anyone before or after class like some of the others did. I didn't have a partner ready to go when I needed one. But over these past 9 months, I'm starting to feel like I fit in. I talk with people about races, or running. People ask me how my training or racing is going. I've had people to partner with. Then the biggest turning point for me, was this morning when one of the girls asked me if I wanted to join her and a few people to run on tuesday mornings.

I know to some of you, it may not seem like a big deal.
Being asked to join the running group just made me feel like I belonged.
I warned her I was slow, and she said, "Oh no big deal, we just go out to have fun."

I guess I learned a couple things.
#1 You may need to stick around through the initial awkwardness until you feel like you fit in.
#2 If you still don't feel like you belong, then maybe its not the right place.

I honestly don't think I gave the Cyclonauts or Competitive Edge group a fair chance last year. This year, I definitely plan on trying a little harder to make some new friends and fit in. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but my hope is that it will lead me to being a better runner & triathlete.

Do you have a tough time fitting in or do you love new groups and people?


Jill said...

I think this is true for everyone. I always remind myself when I feel like that in a new group, that they were all new once time too. So glad they asked you to be a part of their running group.

It's also a great reminder that when I'm a part of a group to make all feel welcome, because we all no what it's like to be on the outside.

Love the puzzle picture...perfect.

misszippy said...

That's fantastic that you've found a "home" with some runners. I think everyone has a hard time when they are new to a group, but putting the effort in usually has big payoff. Enjoy your newfound buds!

Teamarcia said...

I'm pretty much an introvert so its not the easiest thing for me to join groups. Good for you for making the effort!

Trish said...

Total introvert here. Hence the internet ;) Be Brave!!

Aimee said...

I give you so much credit for trying new things. I admire your courage. The running group sounds great and I'm sure you will develop not just running buddies but good friends as well.

Despite the fact that I am not afraid to try different things, I always feel awkward. I definitely don't feel like I fit in when it comes to running and I'm sure that's a body image issue. I run alone and still feel a bit out of sorts when I run a race.

Good luck with the running group. I hope you'll let us know more about it. Have a great weekend.

Wells L said...

Wow - that's a huge thing to be asked into a running group - HUGE!!! Congrats!!!! I'm super excited for you!

I hate to walk into a large group and not know anyone - I would almost rather die I think (me, right? Miss bring on the party!). I am pretty good at sensing if "the group" is open to my enthusiasm or not. If they are - I bring on the party and that usually makes people talk. If they aren't then I slither away at the end of class never to return.

Elizabeth said...

my bf and i talk about this a lot bc this is where we are polar opposites. i love being in new groups, love being the center of attention, love talking, etc. etc. total extrovert. i often forget that some people aren’t comfortable with that. i like your perspective-reminds me to talk to the new people in the group-they may just be a little shy. good for you for continuing to try and put yourself out there!!

Lisa said...

You made a really good point about sticking around. I feel like I have a hard time fitting in, but part of the issue is probably that I move around a lot. By the time I'm starting to get through that initial awkward stage, I end up moving again.

On the Right Track said...

I love new friends and new groups...but have a very difficult time initiating it. So, at times I end up waiting...
Also living in Ny, but growing up in Ky can casue me to shy away at times...I am just learning how to read people...and their faces...

I guess I just need to jump in faster:)

Becky at Prairie Runner said...

Can I share the puzzle pic with my students? Love it! I can be an introvert and revert back to those old feelings from the teenage years "what if no one like me?" I really love being with people, but often wait for others to come to me. I sometimes think because of that I am missing out on the opportunity to meet some amazing people!

~* Jenn *~ said...

I feel MUCH the same way you do. I have a very hard time opening up with a new group of people. I haven't felt like I fit in at all in the last year to year and a half as I transitioned from an overweight couch potato to an "athlete." Thank you SO much for this post, it reminded me that to get anywhere I need to stick around through the uncomfortable part!

Suz and Allan said...

I'm a lot like this when it comes to "fitting in" in the running world. I'm not sure if I would be brave enough to join a running group. The fact that they asked you to join is huge. Hope you find a good fit with them!