I've always said that the thing I like most about blogging and social networking is the connections I've made to other people.
I'm finding that connection is something that boosts me and drives me in other areas of my life.
When I gave my sermon last month, I knew I would be connecting with people with those words. And I did. The feedback that has rolled in indicates that people connected with what I was sharing.
I had my first Team In Training group run this past Saturday morning. Part of the reason for joining an effort like Team In Training, aside from the fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, is being able to connect with other people with similar interests and passions. I was a little nervous going to my first training run. I'd missed the very first meet up because we were on our weekend getaway to Kentucky. Part of me worried that people had already formed groups and made friends and that it would be hard to "break in." Part of me felt pretty confident that I'd meet at least one person that I would connect with. Normally, Christy would be with me so it wouldn't matter if I meshed with anyone else. But she's still healing up from a stress fracture in her foot and won't be running for at least a few more weeks.
I had a friend there that I know through a local mom's website. It was great to have a friendly face to immediately connect with. Then there are the Team In Training coaches and mentors and team captains- they go out of their way to say hello and chat. I met a nice woman named Susan and we hit it off well. Then we got out and started our running and walking. This is where the groups split up and I was suddenly on my own. The runners all started off at a run and I started out walking to get myself warmed up. I started running and soon found myself matching pace with a another woman. She and I started talking and running and walking together.
Her name is Minerva. One thing I loved was how much she observed her surroundings. Together, we saw at least 7 deer in the woods through our state park running route. We talked about our families and what we do for a living and how we plan to raise money for Team In Training. She shared that she had come to the initial run the weekend prior but no one had talked to her and she almost didn't come back. I'm so glad she did. She pushed me when I needed pushing and understood when I needed to walk.
After the run, I came home and the family piled into the van and we headed over to our local Farmer's Market. We started visiting the familiar booths- the coffee guy is always my first stop, then off to the pretzel booth so the kids (and sometimes husband) have something to munch on while we walk around. Next stop was at Sugar 4. I talked about Sugar 4 in my post about opening day of the Market- shared some pictures, mentioned my favorite jalapeno brownies. When I approached the table this time, the owners recognized me. I was a little... surprised. Jennifer and her husband both thanked me profusely for writing even that little bit about their little business.
Turns out, they've been hit with some difficult life stuff recently. And having a stranger say nice things about their passion- baking these yummy treats- was a spiritual lift that they desperately needed.
We talked and we even hugged and...
Of course, I also got a good selection of yummy treats. A jalapeno brownie, of course, and a double chocolate biscotti for Christy and I to share, 2 red velvet cookies (one for Christy) and 2 mini gingerbread men for my kids (Jennifer makes them with crystallized ginger in them so you get the gingerbread flavor but also get amazing bursts of ginger). Yummy homemade treats, made with love and passion.
In one day, I connected with people in real ways. And that's why I do the things I do. That's why I talk to strangers in restaurants and grocery store aisles. That's why I smile and make eye contact. That's why I blog and tweet and participate on message boards and on Facebook. That's why my friends and my church family are so important to me. I need those connections.
When you comment or tweet me or respond to an e-mail, you are connecting with me. I put something out into the blogosphere, into the intranets, and when that little ping reaches someone...