Running is not just a sport. Running connects. Our columnist finds that even and especially when things are not going well in relationships.
Don’t get me wrong: No! I’m not the Erika Berger of running. And there’s definitely only one Lilo Wanders. It was never my aim to become an expert. Certainly not a sex perte. Definitely not a super smart guy when it comes to relationships. I just walk watch. And write about it.
I’ve met Mustafa on my route for almost ten years. However, very irregular. I haven’t seen him for a long time. I met him again yesterday. With certainly 15 kilos more on his ribs, which he must have eaten in six months. “The woman’s gone, Mike. has another. Then came the frustration. And no more running. Opposites don’t attract after all. She never wanted to do any sport either,” he explained to me.
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My questioning look must have given me away. What annoys me about this phrase “opposites attract”. For years. My firm conviction is: When it comes to relationships in the broadest sense, this wisdom is a deadly poison. Opposites may be appealing in the beginning, but that cannot be the basis for a relationship. Neither for a love nor for any relationship. On the contrary. The more similarities there are, the better. And I sincerely wish Ali a woman who loves to run as much as he does. With whom he can walk together. Similarities weld together.
Running together can indeed be a rejuvenation for relationships. Or will. Or make new love. A good friend has just separated from his wife. They had nothing in common (anymore). They were incredibly opposite. He met a young woman. When running. Running together became the foundation for a new relationship. Both ran to each other and to each other. And he out of the marriage. A tough thing. But, I’ve never seen him so happy. “I enjoy walking alongside her. To smell her, to touch her briefly. We hardly talk. Sometimes she is faster, sometimes I. But we’re on our way. On our way,” he told me the other day, during a run, of course. And seldom have I heard him speak so genuinely.
Mike Kleiß has been doing sports since he was a child. “Those who exercise achieve more” is his motto in life. Running was always his favorite topic. For seven years he has been running between 15 and 20 kilometers almost every day, often in marathons and sometimes in ultra marathons. So far, our columnist has published two books on running. He is the founder and managing director of the communications agency GOODWILLRUN. Mike Kleiss lives with his family in Hamburg and Cologne. He writes about running here every Thursday.
I run regularly with business customers. Especially with those who are very unapproachable, matter-of-fact and almost cool in everyday life. When we run together, they usually open up. And suddenly very straight managers become little boys. And it’s so important to be almost a child again. letting go. having or developing trust. This is how even difficult business relationships change. You have a common path. You get to know each other again.
In Berlin last week I took the CEO of a global company for a jog. At the end of our 18KM he said, “Thanks, Mike. Because of this run, I see Berlin and you with completely different eyes. And now I understand why you really do run every morning. It’s not just the sport that moves you. It’s what happens when you run that matters to you.” That’s how it is. That’s how it works.
Read all of Mike Kleiß’s columns here.