Running partners

There are some things I’m quite picky about. OK, 3 things I’m quite picky about: Coffee, friends, and running partners.

With coffee, it doesn’t have to be some fancy brand, or even expensive; it just needs to be strong, hot, and not bitter.

I’ve always had this theory that the way I take my coffee (straight up with nothing added to it) correlates directly with the kind of people I enjoy the most as friends and running partners.

It’s also who I am. I am a black coffee kind of gal.

Coffee served without cream or sugar or any other adornment feels like I know what to expect, I know what’s in that coffee: Beans and water. That’s it. It’s easy to figure out. Either I like how it tastes, or I don’t. It’s cut and dry. If I add milk or sugar to coffee, in my mind, I don’t really like the coffee, I’m just making it palpable by changing it.

I’m the kind of person who would rather try 6 different house blends of black coffee than come to the conclusion that it would just be easier to add milk or sugar to make the coffee drinkable to my standards.

I would rather be wrong 1,000 times and have tried 1,000 different cups of coffee than settle for something I inherently do not like.

The friends I care most deeply about are the folks who are just as outwardly easy to understand as a good cup of coffee — it is what it is and that is all that it is. It is honest. It has nothing added to change it. It is true to itself, either you like me or you don’t. There is no in between.

The best running partner I have knows it is perfectly fine by me if we don’t talk while running — that I don’t have to chat just to fill the air — that I don’t need to add milk as it were. That same running partner also knows that sometimes I can be Chatty Cathy and my particular brew that day can feel as full and intense as espresso.

You do not have to like or even drink coffee to hang or run with me.

But it does help if you don’t feel compelled to change how I take it.

When you find a friend and running partner who gets that, it’s best to steal as many miles and cups as you can.

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