I worked out at a club near my office daily.
I was 42 when I realized it was time to be more active in exercise. I had played handball, squash and racquetball but there were many mornings my playing partner would sleep in and I was without anyone to play with.
I made a decision to learn to run, for weight control and cardio.
I went up to the indoor track where I work out and shuffled around for 2 laps, 20 laps is a mile.
Another friend showed up, then another.
Within a couple of months there were 5-6 regular runners, it kept increasing.
After a few months, two men went outside, then two more, and again after two more months, and finally I was running outside, alone. First time, I missed a curb, mid-block and went down hard.
After a few months outside, one-by-one they increased the distance and started running marathons.
I was the last of the group, to run a marathon, and then ran a total of 55 marathons, the last one at 80 years old.
Learned how to swim and completed 3 triathlons, not an Iron Man tho.
The runners group still meets at Christmas, they come from California and cities in between to enjoy the bond, the fellowship.
Most of us are so aware of the fact that it was the sense of belonging that made it all possible. I lost over 40 lbs. and pretty much kept it off!
The energy, the power, the accountability and the inspiration is what I really received, plus one more; they filled my need for wonderful people in my life.