This past Saturday I woke up and decided to go for a stroll down King Street. Apparently, so did 40,000 other people. Ohhh, the annual Cooper River Bridge Run. One of the only things in Charleston (besides snow or a hurricane) that can completely shut down the city for a day. All Charlestonians know that there is an unspoken after party for those who run in the race. Basically, runners spend the second part of their day making up for the calories burnt by bar hoping.
I had an intense F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) feeling and refused to miss the celebration. My friend and I devised a plan…we went home and changed into out best running outfit. As we headed toward King Street, we cornered a group of runners who were leaving and asked to have their registration numbers. They were nice enough to not question our weirdness and pass over their golden tickets. As we pinned our numbers to our t-shirts, we morphed from weekend slackers to Bridge Run survivors.
The next couple of hours were spent chatting over a drink with other runners, debating if the uphill part of the bridge or the last mile was the worst part of the run (as if we knew…). Although we faked our acceptance into this group of people, my friend and I truly enjoyed our conversations with strangers. Even if we didn’t actually have the bridge run in common, our conversation always led to a topic that was mutual.
As B&A’s biz development sidekick, I get to attend several networking events every month. The hardest part of these events is breaking the ice with strangers. However, my bridge run experience showed me that new conversations tend to follow the same pattern. Awkward introduction followed by information sharing, discovery of a shared interest, and BOOM a connection is made.