Since approximately March of this year, I have been a member of Meetup.com. I first learned about the site through an online friend on MyFitnessPal.com (MFP). Since we are both runners and live in the same area, my MFP friend suggested I join her running club on Meetup.com. Upon her suggestion, I immediately made a profile and joined her group online.
Unfortunately, my personal schedule became busy and I wasn’t able to join the running club for any of their events until last week. I met up with five women from the running club, two of them also being MFP friends, and went for a 4 mile run with them.
I’ve mentioned in my posts before how I get a little nervous about meeting new people, especially a group of new people. I don’t believe I’m very good at initiating small talk with new people. Luckily, the women from the running group were extremely friendly and welcoming. They made me feel comfortable immediately. It was the kind of group where you feel almost immediately as if you’ve known them for a while.
After our run, we went out for dinner and drinks, which can also be a source of anxiety. The laughing commenced immediately and I genuinely had fun; more fun than I’ve been having with most of my friends and acquaintances lately, in fact. I left in a much better mood than I’d been when the day started and am looking forward to running again with them next week.
This weekend, Nate and I joined another group from Meetup.com for a hike. The hike was at a local State Park, which you know I love! There were 15 other people there and while this one made me less nervous because Nate was with me, the nerves weren’t completely gone.
Again, the group was friendly and welcoming and their hiking pace was a perfect match for our normal pace. We will most likely be joining this group again as well. Even though we won’t always want to hike with others, it’s really nice having the option.
The thing that Nate pointed out is that all of the people who attend these events are there because they’re looking to enjoy the conversation and company of others with similar interests. No one will think you’re weird for starting a conversation with them and there is automatically a topic to discuss that both will be interested in (other than the weather, which is a favorite here in Minnesota).
For me, it’s all about trying to meet other active people and so far, it seems to be working. Now that I’ve had some positive experiences, I’ll be researching other Meetup groups to check out.