I’ve gotten wrapped up in some ironic moments through my life. But perhaps none more deserving of a “don’t judge until you’ve been there” title until I discovered my love for running.
Forgive my short memory, but I’m certain I’ve expended ink on this topic before.
My disdain for running – and runners themselves – grew to an extreme a few years ago. It was certainly born from jealousy as I ballooned to over 250 pounds. Meanwhile, there were those with perfect physique frolicking down the greenway without so much as breaking a sweat. I was doing good to walk to the bleachers of a ball game without losing my breath.
My thoughts were all hate: “Runners. Who the hell likes to do that? And they flaunt it on Facebook like they are in a relationship with a super model or something. Who cares about your running? Find something else to talk about, loser.”
Now I’m a loser (I’m sure many would argue that is not a recent revelation).
I have discovered the addiction. I don’t know that I get that true “runner’s high” that I hear people talking about, but I do enjoy competing against my times and mile paces each time out. It’s also a healthier competition than even the most leisurely of sports (ask Holly how far I slung my 7-iron last week down at Old Stone Fort when we stopped in for a quick round. Let’s just say it went further than the ball.).
Running and competing against myself leaves nothing to throw and no television to yell at (you should see me watch a Tennessee game.). It’s the ultimate stress relief, especially once you get past the “about to pass out” feeling.
But now that I’m on “that side” of the running world I’ve really noticed a disconnect that motorists seem to have when approaching runners on the roads – and it needs addressed.
First. Unless you want to live with yourself after killing a pedestrian, never honk your horn at me. Maybe you’re a little sick-minded and envious of the running crowd (i.e. me three years ago) and think mowing down a few runners would make your day – may I remind you that jail is not pleasant.
Second. Get over. I run on the sidewalks provided in Manchester most all of the time and I always run against traffic. That means as you approach me – you are in the right-hand lane. It makes me want to throw rocks at you when you have no competing traffic, yet choose to not get over to allow some natural space as you pass me.
Third. I’ve made it my mission to take an unscientific poll of folks I see on their cell phones when they drive by. The only thing saving my life is the fact that I’m paying attention, because a handful of drivers per run sure aren’t.
Text later before you kill someone.
–Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29