Posted by: rundadrun | November 19, 2010

Running in the dark again

On a recent long run, I found myself out after dark again.  Before I go on, I must admit that this could easily become my favorite time to run.  The world is pretty quite, I get to see the moon rising, and in general, there is very little traffic. Still, every precaution was taken.  I had all my reflective gear on, my Road ID, a blinky light on my back and a sharp eye out for cars and dogs.  I also try, no matter when I am running, to be very smart about traffic flow.  I will get up on the sidewalk when I am in an area that I know to be a bit dicey.  But as much as I can, I run on the edge of the road, against traffic. 

On this run, I actually got to see quite a few folks out in their yards visiting one another on a cool Fall evening.  As I ran past one group and waved, I noticed an older man in a mobility scooter who was out walking his dog.  And by walking his dog, I mean the dog was in the basket on the front laying on a blanket.  I thought that was kinda funny and kept running until I hit the end of the cul-de-sac and turned around.  As I went past the older gentleman again, he waved me over to talk.  As I stopped beside him, he immediately began to ask me why I was running in the middle of the road (I was on the edge of the road) when we have perfectly good sidewalks.  He then told me that I should obey the traffic laws and stay off the street.  I tried my best to be very polite and explain that our sidewalks were very bad, had cars parked across them everywhere and the cement was a lot harder on my knees than the asphalt roads are.  I could tell right away that I was getting nowhere with that, so I thanked him for his concern and ran along on my merry way.  But it got me thinking about his reason for calling me over.  If he had been truly worried about my well-being, I think he would have been a bit nicer about the whole encounter.  His main purpose was to let me know that he was non too happy with me being in the street and running around like I owned the place.  No amount of explaining on my part was going to win him over. 

There are so many times in my life that I run into people who are just like this man.  I must admit, I have the same approach at times.  Instead of asking someone a question with the intent of learning, I ask them with the intent of showing them I am right.  Instead of allowing someone to explain their position on something we disagree on, I am busy coming up with my rebuttal to their answer.  Is it so hard to just listen?  I know that if I would listen more, and plan my return fire less, I would be a much wiser man.  But, like the old man in the scooter, I just want to prove my point, win the argument, impress the person with my intellect.  Maybe if I would just shut up and listen, I would actually learn something.  And maybe, instead of hurting feelings, I would actually mend some fences once in a while.

Happy running,



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