What is Intimacy level of your running conversation?
Is running a group activity or solo activity? Every individual runner would probably answer this differently. There is a class who meditate as they run, they love to be solo and usually are the most silent member of the group. They will not open their mouth even when they are happy or when they are having pain from injury. If you ask them some question their answer would be YES/NO or very limited. To strike a conversation with such runners you have to super interviewer.
On the other hand their are runner who just can't run alone. They will not hit the ground unless they are 100% sure that certain runners with whom his/her frequency matches are there at start line. These class you will find in each event as people energize them and while running they discuss everything from their personal to social to work life. A group having runners with a mix of Solo runner to Social runner makes a lively group. Such group binds each other as the intimacy levels among the group increases. So what is Intimacy levels? It's a Five point scale from 0 to 100 (there are many, but I use this simple one)
At 0 level are individuals runners who are completely silence about their life rather they are in isolation. Usually I don't find runners who are associated with a group at this level. There are runners who run pure solo, who don't care about world around them.
The next levels of Intimacy is T.O.P level (Things/Objects/Places) where one discuss impersonal topics. I would say a major group of runners fall under this category, this level have score of 20 in intimacy level. Here the runners will discuss shoes, cloths, shops, mall picnic spots etc. Nothing which will disclose their identity.
The intimacy level stand at Intimacy score of 40 where runners discuss about Philosophy/ideas so in general it's about gossip/opinion. At this level the friendship between the runners starts growing and some sorts of groups start forming out of these gossips. Such discussion may be adrenaline pumping or may be cortisol riser. Be careful, if the topic is cortisol riser, you may be want to quit group as while running you are already high on your stress hormones. At the end based on your consciousness level you will love these discussion.
Next is me and you discussion where while you try to understand each other. This intimacy level score around 60 and at this level both runners try to do Mutual discovery about each other. These discoveries done through feeling and experiences such as childhood stories, social stories. At these level the runners share a core bond with each other. At this intimacy level Runners are very good friends are the friendship extend beyond running such as partnership in business or close family friends.
The last intimacy levels is Vulnerability levels where one runner share self awareness/emotions with each other. This level of intimacy having score of 80 is Therapeutic and healing in nature. I just can't imagine running a marathon having this level of discussion. The relation which a coach and coachee share at this level, when I say so, I don't mean that you have to be coach, but it means both runners are changing hats as they run thus healing each other. These runners usually have high consciousness and very open mind and shut their own belief/judgement system to do radically listening of co runner emotions/feeling. Very few discussions happens at this levels.
You have to be careful with whom you are doing level 4 and 5 of intimacy discussion. Runners should carry a unwritten confidentially agreement of what they hear from co-runners and should never use it as a matter to gossip in other setting. Intimacy within runners (two or as group) increases over time with each shared running step.
So next time you run and into discussion try to understand what level of intimacy you are running with. Most of the discussion among runners, amounting to nearly 90% happens at Intimacy levels 20-40 levels. As coach I have gone through all 5 levels of discussion and thus creating everlasting bonds with runners. Higher the intimacy more Para Sympathetic it is thus better performance during run. Isn't running a best way to make friends?
Integrated Wellness Coach
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