I have this quirk. Habit. Reflex. That's it -- I have this reflex.
When I really want to get to know someone, I will always ask them a series of questions, the first of which is always: "Do you run?"
And then I ask when we can go running together.
I am a chatty running partner -- OK maybe chatty is an understatement. I like to have wide-ranging conversations. I want to know what makes you tick, what you're like under pressure, what you'll reveal when you're not paying attention.
Why? Because that's what I do. When I run, my constant, internal filter shuts off: As if just the act of focusing on putting one foot in front of the other and remembering to breathe is too much for my brain.
So, my brain stops worrying about saying the right thing or the funny thing. It stops trying to over-think all of my opinions. It stops worrying. All I can do is listen, breathe, and run.
Runners often talk about hitting a wall -- where your legs and body just feel like they simply cannot go on. But when I run with someone I want to get to know, it's like I'm dropping that wall I keep up all the time surrounding me.
When I run, I'm the most disheveled version of myself: unrehearsed and unprepared for whatever you are going to ask me. So, if you can handle that, and still enjoy my company, that's the first test of our friendship.
And if I drive you nuts? Well, at least you got a few solid miles in to show for it. No money on a coffee date wasted.