Friday, September 30, 2011

I Say Hello, You Say.....Nothing?

As runners in a large city, I'm sure we've all seen it. I'm sure we've all done it at some point as well. The first time it happens you're a little shocked and you wonder "Am I supposed to know that person?" and then it happens again and again and you think "This is pretty cool."

It's called the Runner's Wave. The recognition and understanding that you too are a sole mate, a part of the crazy tribe. The Wave comes in a few different forms, but it's usually a little flick of the wrist with a slight extension of the index and middle finger. Sometimes, usually early in a run, you will get full extension in the fingers. This usually happens before fatigue sets in.
Perfecting my Runner's Wave

I find various areas of the city differ in terms of how often you see the Runner's Wave. For instance our neighbourhood, while a bit off the beaten path for runners, boasts some of the friendliest runners I've seen. I always get a nod or a wave from a passing runner. The same can be said for the High Park neighbourhood where I used to live. That area is a Mecca for Runners. Hills, park, trail and not terribly far from the Lake. That is where I perfected my Runners Wave. The area we are temporarily residing in is another haven for runners with endless trail and park systems to run through yet I am finding that the runners out this way are generally not as friendly (and I am making a large generalization here based on my limited 3 month experience).   Take my run last night for example.  I must have seen at least 12 runners in the 42 minutes I was out.  Not ONE waved.  Each one I passed got my version of the Wave and in return I was greeted with a blank stare.   I also find this to be the case on my long runs.  I will see well over 25-30 runners on any given Sunday and I can count on one hand how many actually wave back.

What's UP with that?

I get that sometimes you're in a zone and you might not notice.  I've been there.  It's not like I'm a crazy stalker that's going to follow you home.  I get that your run is your "me" time but it's not like I'm going to stop and strike up a conversation with you.  I'm out for a run, more than likely for the same reasons you are.   We are, after all part of the same tribe.  I know we're in the "big bad city" but it doesn't hurt to make an effort to make it not seem so big and bad.  So the next time you're out for a run and you see a fellow runner, make the effort to salute your fellow sole mate.  You never know who you'll be welcoming to the club.
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