I’ve mentioned a few times in recent weeks that I haven’t been able to run much since Alex was born. This is probably why when I do get out I feel like skipping and leaping in addition to running. It also might be the reason why I have noticed that there are A LOT of crabby runners out on the sidewalks early in the morning. I find myself bounding down the streets and smiling, head nodding, waving, and “helloing” to the runners I pass and in return I get… Nothing. In fact, it’s more common for a fellow runner to look down or away when I smile and say “hi” than it is for them to return the gesture.
Yesterday I tried an experiment and made sure I acknowledged everyone I passed. I had more luck with the dog walkers than my fellow running comrades. I was reminded of when Dave and I bought our road bikes and went out for our first ride. It was like we entered a special road biking club. Every road biker going the opposite direction gave us a little head nod and finger flick wave. When we got home I can remember Dave saying, “Did you see that? We are one of them now.” Runners, we need a club too! I’ve also thought about one very early morning, 5am or earlier, a few years ago when a man running the opposite direction as me put up his hand and we high fived as we passed. It made my day. Without saying anything he said, “You are awesome!” I’ve never had the guts to try to pass on this gesture, but I might start.
So, to all the road warriors out there, stop taking yourself so seriously and smile a little. I know running isn’t always easy, but you are using more muscles when you frown than if you would smile. Save the extra muscle exertion and put on a happy face. We are all in it together.