Sometimes when I’m running, someone else is running next to me. They are not my running buddy. I do not know them. And they bug the heck out of me. The sound of their feet hitting the ground drives me nuts. There have been times when they have simply been too close. Like if I were to swing my arms slightly wider, I would elbow them. It would be their own fault, of course, because they are clearly encroaching on my space.
But sometimes when I’m running, someone else is running next to me. They are not my running buddy. I do not know them. And yet I grab on and ride their energy for a while. Sometimes we start talking, sometimes I am sure I’m just an annoyance. But sometimes I need them to pull me along, just for a little while. Sometimes they do this willingly. Breanne picked me up at mile 23 of the Utah Valley Marathon. “Come on,” she said, “you can do it.” I was walking at that point and needed some encouragement, someone to stick with. I tried to keep up with her, and we ran together for a few minutes before I realized she’d get more than she bargained for if I kept up that pace. And they would totally deserve it.
In either case, I think “I’m Sticking With You” by the Velvet Underground is the song you should have playing in your head or on your iPod when you have someone sticking with you or you are sticking with someone. In the first case because it will lighten the mood if you want to throw an elbow into the gut of the guy who’s a hair’s breadth from giving you a flat tire. And in the second case because it will lighten the mood if you are struggling through a run and need a little lift and someone to hang onto for a little while.