Joining a group daunting?

Some people will always say it’s not for them and that’s OK. I get it. To be frank, it doesn’t matter how many times I meet a group (please don’t tell anyone I walk with!), I feel that same anxiety. I’ve always felt the pressure of imminent social interaction - Will people like me? Will I say something stupid or accidentally offend someone? Will I be late or forget my map? Will I be the first to trip over, again?! Will people notice I walk a bit funny?
But do you know what? Once I actually get out of the car; check the doors are locked three times; tie my laces twice and finally stop adjusting my rucksack straps... There's nothing else left to do, but put myself out there! To be that socially awkward, little bloke that walks a bit funny and pretends to be in control. The funny thing is, despite those inner fears, the smiles of a group of people feeling exactly the same way that greet me are the first thing that starts to ease that tight feeling in my stomach.

The genuine interest people show never fails to amaze me. Everyone's enthusiasm to just get walking helps pull my jelly legs back together. Maybe as we move off, the soothing metronomic steps gradually tread my self-doubt into the ground; maybe each time someone laughs it brings a speck of comfort; maybe it's just the final relief of finishing the walk having not lost anyone? But in the end, I never fail to feel a better, stronger and more confident person at the end of a walk. I guarantee, every time (well almost) I drive home, I’m buzzing from post-exercise endorphins, the beautiful places we’ve shared, but best off all, those super scary interaction that have morphed into positive personal connections.

So yes, I want you to come for a walk with me. I want to show you how you too can turn those fears on their head. I want you to see how friendly, sociable and supportive people can be when they are being their best selves. Because in the end they just want your support too. I'm sure my sentiments are caught better in this video:

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