Yesterday I went on a long run while my car was getting serviced at a place down the street. My car wasn’t finished by the time I wrapped up my run, so I headed to a convenience store across the street for a drink. When I got up to the counter, the cashier looked at me and said, “Tell me something. Why do you people run on the road when there are perfectly good sidewalks around here?”
You people? You think I look like “you people”?!
I was so excited that it didn’t occur to me that he didn’t mean it as a compliment.
He thinks I look like a runner! I have people! Yay!!
I straightened myself up, held my head high, and prepared myself to come to the defense of My People. But as soon as I opened my mouth to describe the merits of running on the road, I remembered…oh yeah, I run on the sidewalk. Aw, man.
Of course the guy had no idea why I started laughing. Since running my first 5K less than two years ago, I’ve worked very hard to improve and set new goals for myself. But I’ve never really considered myself a “real runner.” As slow as I am, the uneven surface of the sidewalk is more than suitable for my training runs. And to be honest, it’s where I belong. This morning, if I hadn’t run on the sidewalk, I’d have missed the fallen blooms that looked like popcorn under my feet. I wouldn’t have been able to experience the kindness of a neighbor who paused his lawn mowing as I passed so he wouldn’t blow grass clippings on me. If I’d run on the road, I wouldn’t have met Jet, the service puppy in training who was out for a walk. I’m also guessing that the road wouldn’t have smiled at me.
So I’m going to stick where I am. But I sure liked being included with You People. I think I’ll keep that.