A couple months back when my husband and I were at a business conference, we were invited to a customer appreciation meal at a steak house along with about 50 other clients. Unfortunately, we were the last people to leave the appetizer and cocktail reception to make our way to supper and got separated from our friends. By the time we caught up with them, their table and almost every table except for one table was full. So we sat down with a group of strangers. The good news was that all of us at the table had at least one thing in common. We were all in the same business. If everything else failed to spark a conversation, at least we could talk about work.
I never grew up being a great conversationalist. Paul, however, is a great conversationalist and I learned a lot just by watching him. When I meet new people, the first thing I try to do is find a common interest and ask questions. Do they have kids? Yes, then ask questions about their kids. Who doesn’t like talking about their kids? I know I do. They don’t have kids. Okay, if they are close to me in age I might reminisce about rotary phones. Do they have pets? Are they a runner??? Ding, ding, ding. I hit the jackpot with this group.
About half of the people at our table had just run their first marathon like I did. We exchanged our dog chase stories. Now after a couple of drinks and finding people with similar interests, I seem to forget that I am shy. It was at this time that one of the people at our table stated that he did his first triathlon. He said that he was so proud that he put it on his business cards. Rather gullibly, I responded with a quick “Really? Wow.” Everyone stopped eating and looked at me with eyes that questioned my intelligence. Time for me to crack a joke. “I bet your business card says I tri harder for you.” Everyone laughed loudly. That opened the night up for a lot of running jokes. Our table was voted as the table that had the most fun and laughter.
Another reason why I love being a runner. There are plenty of stories to run by that we can laugh about later.