Trouble in paradise, exercise style

I could smell trouble was brewing. Routines were broken. Things were different but because all this happens before my first coffee, I was slow on the uptake.

This doesn’t involve my super macho gym. It involves my walking group. I use the term “walking group” loosely. I go to a mall before it opens and walk. I walk with a woman I know from my previous gym. In the course of the last year, I have become familiar with all the walkers. Many are older than I am. Much older but very nice. I admire that they stay active.

The walking group has its own ecosystem. They walk and sit afterward to talk before starting their day. They share fundraisers, bus trips and contribute to different things. Some may be social outside of the morning walk. Everyone seems to know everyone’s junk. Even the illicit relationships. (And yes, that happens in geriatric walking groups. People seem to pair off no matter what the age.)

I don’t join in on the social aspect. It’s pre-coffee. I find it hard to be nice pre-coffee. (I’m barely nice post-coffee!) I heard that the conversations can get testy. I don’t like to engage in discussions on anything remotely touchy. Too many end up in a shouting match with no one listening. (That happens a lot these days and there isn’t enough Starbucks to fix it.)

About a week ago, my walking partner, who was a part of the social group, started leaving at the same time I did. Then I heard her story.

When we come in, we put our coats on benches or chairs. There is a hierarchy. The “in crowd” puts their coats on the chairs around tables where they will sit afterward. The rest of us walkers put our coats on the various benches scattered around. Someone started moving her coat out of the “in crowd” area. She got annoyed and took it as a sign that she wasn’t welcome.

She thinks it’s because of her political beliefs. I don’t know if that’s the case. She’s a real talker. The kind that doesn’t let anyone else get a word in. The kind that can get annoying.

She talks all the time while we walk. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I zone out. She is especially garrulous when her husband goes on hunting trips. Or trips to the cabin when he’s not hunting.

I like her. She’s a kind person. Just chatty. Especially before coffee (that’s my coffee — she has had two cups before she goes walking).

I suspect her chattiness is the real reason for the coat relocation. I only walk with her twice a week. Everyone else sees every weekday. That may be overload.

Can you tell when people avoid you and would you know why? Would you care? I don’t think she does although she was annoyed someone was fiddling with her coat.

Some friendships have an expiration date on them. They are friendships that develop because of a shared interest or need which is not strong enough to sustain it. I’ve had a lot of those and I’ve treasured them. Not everything is forever.

I’m not sure about the walking group though. We’ll see what happens as time goes on.

47 thoughts on “Trouble in paradise, exercise style

  1. Pingback: Random 5 for January 27 – Magazines, recipes, cats, Mom, endings | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. Some people are just not very skilled at environmental scanning! They don’t easily pick up on whether or not people are enjoying a particular topic of conversation or if too many opinions are creating stress. I like walking by myself and being alone with my thoughts. I rarely find my personal opinions stressful. 🙂 I would definitely have a hard time walking with a super-talker! I don’t think I could get out there before my coffee either! LOL! You’re a trooper!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve become immune to the verbal onslaught. Sometime I listen and sometimes I don’t. I did figure out that she’s much more talkative when her husband is on a trip. She has a quota of words to say each day and she accomplishes that no matter that!


  3. The right side of my brain wants to have everyone like me! The left side could care less! I try not to think about it. Just go along thinking my left brain is my dominate side…But who really knows. I think your walking partner needs to assess if these are “friends” or just fellow walkers. Sounds like recess in elementary school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are just walking partners. There is no social activity outside of the walks. I’m not sure why the coat was moved but maybe there was a good reason I don’t know. We weren’t allowed to move coats in elementary school. The nuns would have yelled!


  4. Makes you wonder if it really is people against her and shutting her out or she just imagines it … sad if it is the former. She’s got that two-cups-and-I’m-flyin’ high from coffee and you are without so that makes a difference as well. There are two women at the Park where I walk – they only walk in the Summer but they race walk. They invite me to walk with them every year – I do it when they start walking in the nice weather and they abandon the treadmill. But, they walk very fast and I don’t like to race walk and the idea of walking the loops so fast that I can’t talk or am sweating profusely just to walk, makes no sense to me. Might as well walk at a track or the mall. I don’t mind to chat with people for a minute or so, but prefer a solitary walk for the ambiance and I usually have a blog post bubbling around in my head while walking around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoy having a partner to walk with. It does make the time go faster as long as both are walking at the same pace. I walk fast at the mall. It’s my exercise and I don’t want to lollygag. I’m not really sure what’s going on and I’m not interested enough to get involved. People seem really nice to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d walk with you and I wouldn’t talk! I have a friend I try to avoid UNLESS we go for a walk together. She keeps up a fast pace with me for the 1 1/2 hours we walk, and she never stops talking. But I don’t care then – I tune her out and enjoy having some company and someone who’s gotten me off my writing chair for a bit of fresh air. But…. if she asks me to come in for a cup of tea, I say no thanks. :-0

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about relationships (mostly career ones) that have bit the dust. So your post is timely for me (and admittedly safer to comment here about it!). I do think that some friendships have expiration dates. That bothers me, but at the same time it just goes to show that nothing much changes from childhood through adulthood. Now… I do hope that you tell us more about the hook-ups going on in that group. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went through a few “expirations” of friendships I thought would stand the test of time. It was a sobering experience but I’ve learned from it. I’m more conscious of what makes relationships work and work on that. There are also couple friendships which seem harder to make (both people don’t click) and individual friendships. Hey, no one was more stunned about the 80 year old hook-ups than I was. Hats off to them but at my age (considerably less than 80) I’m not even interested.


  7. I felt sorry for this person as you were telling the story. When you get to a certain point in life, one would think people would be more accepting and see people, as you do with her, for the good. The moving of the coat seems like high schoolish in terms of sending a message. I think we all know when we’re being squeezed out. Makes you wonder how the group will move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Twice this past week I’ve met total strangers at a social gathering, who came up to me and began to do a VERY LONG monologue about their entire life. Without any niceties or ‘how are yous’ first, and without coming up for air they literally talked on and on and on. After each instance, I was totally exhausted. I feel your pain!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hate those kinds of dramas. You are wise to avoid the socializing.
    I am very paranoid of being in an uneven relationship with someone. Where I think more of the friendship than they do. And I think it makes me alert to it, but how do I know I’m really alert to it?
    No one knows what anyone else is REALLY thinking. So I guess I really don’t. I probably err too often on conservative side and avoid infringing into people’s groups and lives. Because there is no way to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, there are times when I can tell when people avoid me and I might have an idea why or I might be totally clueless. I care if people avoid me. I care if people don’t like me… to a point. How much I care depends on the person and how much I value their friendship or relationship. When it comes to friendships with women I believe in two’s company, three’s a crowd. A group of women generally brings out the snark. Don’t like feeling like I am back at the high school cafeteria at lunchtime being judged. I think it’s kind you walk with her, Kate. We just never know what struggles people are dealing with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s a mixed group of 50% men/women but her story sure made it sound like high school. I know the person she thinks did it (it happened a few times) and I can’t imagine that person doing it. Like I said, probably a side that I don’t know.


  11. I used to be bothered if people seemed to avoid me or not like me, but for the past thirty odd years, I’ve thought it’s their choice but their loss as I’m actually quite nice!!!! (lol) Seems a shame about moving her coat though, especially if she was part of the ‘In’ Crowd’ to begin with. I know I talk too much, it covers my nerves and anxiety, but it’s usually about the dog so it’s acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. People wear me out.
    Petty people especially.
    Especially petty geriatric people who act like they are still in high school.

    And go you for walking/driving BEFORE coffee.
    I like to ease into my day slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does make the time go faster. She knows that she talks a lot but she doesn’t try to reign it in. What’s most frustrating is that she doesn’t let other people talk. She often cuts in when you are talking and she’s off and running! I’m with her 2 half hour walks a week so it’s not a big deal for me. She walks an hour every day with other people. That may be long.


  13. I live in England. I need my coat on before going out for a walk. Problem solved. I do think there ought to have been easier ways of dealing with your talkative friend. A keep fit group I go to has tea or coffee afterwards. A lot of people stay for a few minutes then go to a local coffee bar or pub for a more private chat. No one seems to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never joined the “after party.” Not everyone does. People have places to be or things to do. I determined early on that it was unlikely anyone there would be a good candidate for a long term friendship outside of the walking.


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