What is a common courtesy? Holding a door when someone is right behind you? Sure! Opening a door for someone and letting them in first? In some instances….yep! How about helping an old lady to cross the street? Doesn’t come up that much but I think we would all be there for that right? So why is it that only about 50% of runners and walkers wave hello to a passing runner?
I might be the exception here, but I always no matter what throw up the high five to say hello! There are quite a few responses that I get back, and they do vary quite a bit as to their exertion level, assertiveness, and location. Let’s explore!
The first one, and by far the best is the full out “Hey, how’s it going,” or “That was a good race huh…how’d you do?” This is usually done after they see a tech shirt that I am wearing that advertises a race that I have done. What comes from this? A new face to face interaction, which always is fun!
Now…from here on out…it sort of goes down. The next one is still great, it’s just not as cool as the first one, and probably encompasses the majority of folks who actually acknowledge you. I call these folks the “Wavers/Hey-ers.” As I pass by, and casually throw up my high five, and say hello, they act just like a mirror and do the same. Just a common courteous act of acknowledgement. I have one runner that I pass by about every 4-5 days due to schedules and travel, and actually throws up a thumbs up with a huge smile! How cool is that! How different, and I can absolutely tell you that it makes a difference on my run. I am thinking about how cool that thumbs up was, and not the next half mile that I just ran.
We are almost to the last group, but there is one right there in the middle. I call these folks the “1-uppers.” Simply put, they…at the last minute…just before they ignore you…notice that you are throwing up the high five….throw up a single finger and thumb in a weird “L” spot. It’s one of those that you’re not sure if you should be happy that they acknowledged you, or kind of a little mad that they did it just to reconcile the high five you threw their way….which leads us to our last group….
These folks….at this point….are pretty identifiable. Running along on a trail, or any other 2 way section of track, you casually run by….throw up the high five and a “hey,” and what do they do? Well, let’s put it this way….these folks are called the “Nadas.” They do nothing….nada…zip…zilch! Literally, they just pass by and don’t even acknowledge you’re there. On my morning runs, which by the way, there are only a few of us out there, and each time we all pass each other, it’s pretty much a one on one experience, there is one guy who is a “Nada.” I know each and every time, I am going to pass him (which by the way, he has a very unique running style, so I know when that’s going to be about ½ a mile away), I will throw up the high five, and in return….nothing. It’s like a crescendo in music in which the symphony builds and builds and the music gets louder and louder and all of a sudden……..it stops. There is no big gong or flow, or ending on a final boom. It just stops. That’s how I feel about “Nadas.”
What are you? Are you a conversation person? A Waver/Higher? A 1-Upper? Hopefully not a Nada! Whatever you are…be that person for a reason. Be who you are because truthfully….that is who you are. So before I get all philosophical about who you are and what you are is who you are and how you are you are….just make sure before you do say whatever it is to acknowledge that passing runner, you look down and make sure you’re not going to trip….and lace up!
Previously Posted July, 2011