I love Audrey Hepburn and I have for as long as I can remember. When I first saw her in the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s I just knew that one day I would move to New York and become a socialite. Of course I was only 7 so what did I know but something in Audrey Hepburn just resonated with me. I felt connected to her, I loved her style, her voice and her elegance.
Most people are surprised to find out that she was introverted. Most people are surprised to find that I am as well. But I am. I most definitely am.
When I was younger I’m sure most people would have described me as outgoing or extroverted but that was never the case. Crowds and situations that might easily embarrass me gave me great anxiety. Although I may have seemed confident and happy being in the midst of crowds, I really wasn’t. It made me feel terribly insecure and uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone other than my mother knew how terribly tortured my soul was.
As time went on and with the help of self-evaluation, and maybe a therapist or three, I became much more comfortable in my own skin. I came to realize that while I like people and having friends, most days I prefer to be alone.
MacGyver thinks I should go work from Starbucks a few days a week just to get out and be around people but I don’t really want to. I like being at home with the dogs. I like being at home alone. I am not sad, I’m not depressed, and I’m not anti-social. I just don’t like to be around people a lot and that’s okay. I’m okay.
It’s also probably one of the reasons that I run. It’s an exercise that I can do anywhere. I don’t like the anxiety that I feel walking into a gym or an exercise class. I prefer the solitude of running alone. I love the thoughts that go through my head when I’m running. I really do. As weird as it may sound, I enjoy it.
I really enjoy running alone and while I may run with others on occasion, I do prefer my solo runs. I don’t like the stress of wondering if I can match someone else’s pace or if they can match mine. I stress over whether they’ll expect me to talk the whole time or if they’re quiet like me. I wonder if they’ll need to take breaks or if they won’t need to take breaks and before I even meet someone to run with them, I’m already stressed out. It wears me out.
I also tend to be habitual in the routes that I run and I’ve noticed over time that once I start to see the same people over and over again, if any of them stop to talk to me, shortly after I change my route.
I know, it sounds rude but honestly, it isn’t. For a long time I wasn’t consciously aware that I was doing it but I realized it about a year ago. I tried not doing it once I realized it was a pattern but it only made the anxiety worse.
I wondered if other runners were introverts as well or if they had some of the same behavioral patterns as me and since I’m a huge fan of reddit I did manage to find several discussions on the subject and what I found is that there seems to be a lot of introverted runners. Holy shit! I’m not alone.
Of course reddit is not scientific proof of anything and I didn’t find any official studies, (well one but I couldn’t access it so it doesn’t count) but I would love to learn more. So in the interest of science or just my natural curiosity, I need to hear from you.
Are you a runner and if so are you an introverted or extroverted runner?
If you know of any studies on the subject, please send me the link, You know I love me some scientific facts!