Sunday, May 22, 2011

New to WOOT?

I had to attend a "Family Fun Day" this afternoon; it was an event hosted by my husband's unit and it involved a potluck meal and recreational activities at a park near Kadena Airbase. My husband is fairly new to the unit he is currently stationed with, and today was my first introduction to both the marines he works with and their family members. I'm hesitant to admit this on a public blog, but I am actually a very nervous person when it comes to meeting people for the first time, especially when those meetings are in a large crowd setting. I asked my husband to stop and get me a coffee so that I would have something to hold in my hands when we got to the event - it sounds silly but the coffee was a way for me to hide my discomfort.

As we pulled up to the event, I started to think about all the ladies who have bravely turned up to WOOT without knowing a single person. I thought about my own inhibitions and I realized that it might have taken me a few weeks to gather up the courage to attend a WOOT run if I were new to the island and didn't know any members. I also realize that I might be an exception to the norm and that most women probably have no problems introducing themselves to a group of strangers, but for those of you who are like me, I want to commend you for putting your shyness aside and coming out to join us on a WOOT run. And for those of you who have intentions of joining us but haven't yet felt confident enough to come out, I want to encourage you to send us your thoughts on how we might be able to make the initiation process as comfortable as possible.

Here's what my husband suggested when I asked him for his thoughts about it: he recommended that we have a rotating schedule where our regular WOOT members take turns in wearing some type of accessory or distinctive clothing item which identifies them as the person whom first-time attendees should approach when they arrive at the carpark. Once the new person has introduced herself she can be placed with a group of runners or walkers who best matches her pace ability.

Any other suggestions? 
Come on out, we're a friendly group of girls, really.....


  1. I like Erik's idea. Can I nominate Kathleen until the end of June for this new comer's orientation billet?
    Great write up, Jannine. You are correct that it can feel so awkward to come to a group, not knowing anyone and not feeling confident in your running ability. Cheers to all those that have tried and as J says, for those who haven't bring your cup of coffee!!

  2. great post! I feel the same way and was very nervous the first time I went to WOOT especially since I was planning on walking. But, I met a few other walkers and had a blast! I think having a "go to" person each week is a GREAT idea!!!

  3. Great Idea! I know that my anxiety about being new and not knowing anyone kept me away - and that's why I used the Pedi day to meet everyone. We need a buddy system. Carpooling or something too. that would be really helpful - but instead of saying, "show up at USO" be more like, "where do you live? OK - see you bright and early when I come knock on your door and we drive together!"

  4. I agree too! I love the idea! I have only been once and I really want to join again, but am a bit shy. Showing up alone was very intimidating, but I had a great time.

  5. To "s" and "The Wheelers," I'm so glad that both of you had the courage to turn up to a WOOT run without knowing anyone, and even happier to hear that you both had a great time. I will see what we can do to put this idea into action.