I am a runner and have been running for twenty years.
While there are times when I might run on a track, trail, or treadmill, the majority of my running is done on the streets of my town or in whatever town I happen to be.
Throughout the years, I have had a lot of interesting experiences on the road and have come across some very kind people. With that being said, I have also come across more than a handful of people who make me feel a little less safe in the world. These are the people I would like to address on behalf of myself and all of my fellow runners on the roads.
I do not want to overwhelm you, dear Driver, with a list of requests and complaints. I only wish to appeal to you with a simple request: Can we please share the road and show a little respect for one another? Can we work together to make our time on the road a little more pleasant?
Believe me, I understand that you are much bigger than me and could do some major damage if you wanted. . . I get it. Whenever there is a sidewalk, I am running on it. There are times, though, that sidewalks are not available and I have no other choice. I want you to know that I do my best to stay as far to the left side of the road that I can and am most often in the berm. Every now and then, though, there is a ditch, terrible footing, broken glass, or a dead animal that requires I adjust my tactic. I am always aware of your presence, though, Driver, and do my best to stay out of your way. I just ask that you might do the same for me.
When you blare your horn at me for seemingly no reason, I don’t get it. I can see the anger on your face and find it quite comical. Your anger is only making your life difficult–not mine. Get over it. For those Drivers who slow down so they can be sure they don’t hit me but glare at me with the annoyance at having to slow down, I implore you to take time to stop, smell the roses and recognize that life is passing you by! And to my particularly favorite Drivers, those who like to holler, whistle, and make sexist remarks to me I have one question for you. What would your mother/wife/sister/daughter say if she knew what you were doing? Seriously, grow up. Each time you do that I throw up a little bit in my mouth and that is not a pleasant experience.
One day I hope there will be miles of meadows or endless sidewalks that would make the roads safer for everyone. For the time being, though, we will continue to share and I propose that we work together to create a safer place for us both.