Oh no…. Some one has sought me out to tell me that they saw me out running. This is not good, as I know where this is going. Although I long to hear “you were flying” or “dang, you looked good”, experience tells me that this is not the turn this conversation is going to take.
I know what is next. My sanity is about to be questioned and I’ll be spoken to like I’m a four year old. Didn’t I see the traffic, hills, weather, etc. that should have kept me pursuing something in doors? I’ll smile politely and say something like “that’s what makes it fun”; fully aware I’ve just confirmed my sanity in their eyes.
I was thinking about this typical conversation that I’ve had with MANY people over the years. I assume that they are simply concerned for my safety, and I am appreciative of their regard. However, I wonder what they actually SEE when the look at me running?
When I drive past a runner, I’m looking at stride, pace, gear. My husband swears I’ll get whiplash if more cyclists choose the same route as I drive. I can’t tell you how many times he’s refused my request to stop and let me talk to the rider who’s bike is maladjusted. “But, he’s KILLING his knees….”
So, what do non-runners or more casual runners see when they look at someone out on the roads/trails? Does it look like a break out has happened at the Looney bin? Am I tsk tsked for being a moving obstacle to go around? Do I earn someone some imaginary points, in their make believe game involving my death? Do I look like I’m putting myself at risk? Do I really look crazy?
I take many precautions when I run. I wear reflective gear. I’m pretty certain Brooks has outfitted me so that I can be seen from space. I run on sidewalks when possible. I make eye contact with drivers at intersections. I am aware of my surroundings. I also recognize that there is no guarantee of safety involving any task in life.
But, when I run, I am saner than any other time in my day. I get to reflect on the funny things kids have said to me during the school day. I get to figure out how I can maximize my time, so my children can excel at their passions. I get time to thank the universe for surrounding me with people whom I love, and who love me in return. And, if I get to tackle some killer hill or monster weather at the same time, well, that’s what makes it fun.
So, I may look like I’m crazy, but, looks can be deceiving.