Sunday, July 22, 2012

Funny things happen when I run.

If there's one thing that I enjoy about all of this running I've been doing lately, it's the opportunity to observe all the quirky things that people do.

For instance, today I went to a nearby neighborhood park and ran the adjacent trail and ran into a myriad of folks.

Aha! A picture of part of the trail that I ran today!
The first person I ran into was a man and his dog.  It was one of those situations where I was trying to calculate when it would be appropriate to make eye contact and move along.  Living in the south, and especially Texas, people do not simply ignore each other.  I was taught at a young age that you always smile and wave at people when they cross your path, even if you don't know them.  It's a shining example of southern hospitality.  I can always tell if someone is from up north or a big city because they tend to be the ones who give me a "WTF, do I know you?" look.

But I digress.  I found the situation a bit funny because as I  could see that the man was trying to calculate the exact same thing.  I could see it on his face, as I'm sure he could see it in mine, but luckily as we got closer (thanks to the velocity of my running) he smiled quickly, said hello, and I did the same.

For some reason, the fact that I was running made it less awkward.

Then a few minutes following that I saw a man and a woman walking.  The man was kind of puny looking, and definitely a backwoods Texan native (anyone that sports a confederate flag shirt automatically is) and the woman was taller than him, and about 5 times my size.  It was a bit comical because as the man saw me approach he immediately ducked behind the woman and walked behind her, a good 50 feet before I actually passed them.  As per usual, I smiled and waved because I was too out of breath to give a proper hello, and went on my merry way.  The woman warmly returned my greeting while the man just looked at me sheepishly.

When I was sure they were out of earshot I had a good chuckle at the silliness of the situation.  You could obviously tell who wore the pants in that relationship.

I passed a handful of snooty "power walking" ladies that looked at me with unwarranted disdain, but whatever.  They were just jealous of my defined calf muscles.

Little encounters like these make running all the more fun.  I enjoy people watching, and now that running doesn't make me want to hack up a lung or fall over from exhaustion, I can do it more often.


  1. That is an upside of running. Those ladies were definitely jealous of you though :) Still, I'm far too self conscious. Running in to people is the reason I DON'T go walking and running. I've noticed that people will sometimes smile and wave at me if I pass and they're not preoccupied, but I don't think I really go out of my way to do it myself to others.

    1. I understand completely. Sometimes I get self conscious when I'm running and I see people I know, but for some reason I don't really mind with strangers...

  2. "They were just jealous of my defined calf muscles."
    Literally my life. It's especially difficult when you're trying to find jeans. If they're small enough to fit my waist and the rest of my legs, they never fit my calves... but people-watching really is a great upside to running. When I'm in the park constantly passing people walking their dogs, I usually smile at them and say thank you when they move aside. Unless they let their dog attack me. Then I just sprint off...

    1. I feel like I can now use the #runnersprobs tag without being phony! I feel your pain when it comes to jeans.

  3. I always smile at people and it's awkward awkward awkward when they just stare at me like I'm from another planet. I feel like I'd be a good southerner, apart from my liberal views. haha.

    it's awesome that you're having all of these little encounters, I'd probably be too busy trying to greet all of the dogs that I'd pass to even run.

  4. I think there's a similar custom in Florida to always wave, even at strangers, but for some reason it's always if you're walking on a sidewalk and someone drives by slowly enough. You often don't know the person you wave to and it takes you a moment afterwards to realize you were just being friendly.

    I do not run and I wish I did. Actually, I probably should if I plan to make the tennis team in college. If only the weather weren't so icky currently and/or I had a treadmill.

  5. I always have to walk past people at work on my way to do jobs, and I bump into some people a few times a day. It can be amusingly hard working out what to say to avoid any awkwardness, and it's even funnier when you know the person walking towards you is thinking the exact same thing.

    Funnier still is when they (or you - I know I've done it a few times) find some reason to somehow not say hello or wave; like when they take out their phone to check it or even take an alternate path to avoid any awkward greeting.

    Humans are a funny species.

    1. Haha, I've definitely used the 'look at phone/iPod' cop out before, especially when I pass people that I go to school with.