While running I always say hello to people who I see along the way. Whether they are out walking their dog, strolling with their baby, running, or riding a bike. If my path crosses them, I say hello. My running buddies have called me the ambassador of running. I like to be thought of as an ambassador, but part of my thinking behind being so friendly isn't because I am seeking new friends...part of it has to do with safety.
I have read somewhere, don't as me where, that predators are less likely to interfere with you if you look them in the eye and personalize the exchange. With this in mind, I offer a "Good morning". Ok, ok, I do also believe that the world would be a nicer place if we at least greeted one another. Who knows, perhaps that person has no one at home, is sad and lonely, and my 2 words lifted their spirits. Did it take that much energy to say hello....not really!
So come with me along my 15 mile run last weekend. I have no friends to chat with, I left my ipod @ home. This perhaps was a bad move. I start my run rather early, when there are not a lot of people out. I pretty much am outdoors with all the senior citizens in Denver and their dogs. I offer my greeting, making certain that they see me before I speak. I do not want to be responsible for any heart attacks this morning. Much as I expect, I get many warm good mornings in return. All is good!
My run continues along a bike path. Enter people in tight shorts, brightly colored shirts, and funny little shoes. They are tooling along. I continue my greetings. I realize that the bikers are not saying anything back. In fact, I do a little survey over about 9 miles. All of the people on foot reply to me and less than 25% of the cyclists do. What's up with that?
I ponder this....and come to the conclusion, perhaps unfair, that they are just in a world of their own. They think that they do not have to say hello to the lowly runner....they are in fact a little irritated that they have to share the path with me.
Yesterday, I had my theory confirmed. After running a half marathon, I am standing along the side of the course cheering people on. The road is closed, both sides of the street. There are many people shouting "GO (insert name)", "You rock", "You're almost there". I hear something behind me. It does not register. My friend takes my arm and pulls me aside. Apparently a man and his companion are racing down the street in the opposite direction of the race on their road bikes. One is saying, "Head's up, head's up". So, I did not hear him, and he yells at me, "Get out of the way". My friends reply, "There's a race going on here." He yells something back, which I can't remember exactly.
I wondered for a moment if he is a police or rescue worker. Turns out, he is not. AND get this; his car is about a tenth of a mile down the road. I called him something I am not supposed to say around children, and then apologized to the parents around.
My friends and I offer our theories as to what was going on in his world that caused him to about run me down. We laugh and let it go....I am left thinking that these dudes are just MEAN…don’t try to tell me differently!