I’m a fairly mild-mannered, some would even say timid, person. I was raised to be afraid of strangers from a young age, and so when I’m out walking around in the world I give any odd behavior a wide berth.For example, a couple of months ago I was out walking with my husband and about a block ahead I saw that a cop had pulled over a car and the person was out of the car ranting and raving on the sidewalk. I turned around right there and walked away quickly. My husband was baffled that I would be scared, and it’s not that I’m scared, it’s that I don’t like unpredictable behavior and if somebody is going to snap, I don’t want to be involved or even nearby.
When I’m walking alone with my headphones on I will jump at loud noises – if a loud motorcycle revs its engine I have been known to bodily flinch at the unexpected stimulus. It’s my nature, and it’s how I’ve always been. I give strangers a wide berth when walking in deserted areas, and for the most part I don’t tend to interact in any way when passing other pedestrians – I don’t initiate a smile or greeting, however if the person looks non-sketchy I will return such an overture.
But when I’m out running, whoa Nelly hold the phone! It’s like I’m a completely different person. I am in charge, I am aggressive and I am not afraid of anybody. Something about the physical action of being in motion and working my body hard makes me fearless. And it’s a good thing too, because I encounter a lot of really stupid behavior out of other humans out on the road. I regularly have to correct a stupid driver who doesn’t bother to check both directions before pulling across a driveway. If I’m running and you pull your giant truck into a crosswalk I’m halfway through and nearly hit me I will pound your vehicle with a fist and should “OY! PAY ATTENTION ASSHOLE!” and then cross in front of your stupid chrome grill giving you the “Your mother must be so disappointed” look. If your dog lunges at me and trips me up while I’m running, I will call you out on your lapse and loudly question why you own a dog you can’t control.
I don’t think any of this is unwarranted either. If you don’t look both ways before crossing a pedestrian walkway, you deserve to be yelled at. If you can’t keep your dog from lunging at passersby, you deserve to be called out. But I sure don’t do it when I’m walking, I don’t feel powerful when I’m walking and I’m afraid to provoke a confrontation. For some reason when I’m running I’m invincible. On the flipside, I’m also more likely to smile and greet you with a “Good morning!” when I’m out running than when I’m walking.
I don’t particularly have an opinion on whether this is good or bad, it’s just something I’ve noticed. Something about working hard makes me feel powerful and less fearful of others. Yesterday I saw this article, and maybe it’s related in some way: Want a 9% Raise? Hit the Gym Because everyone knows that climbing the corporate ladder requires aggressive, dominant behavior.
Anyway…6.2 miles today. 85 minutes, ~1000 calories. Now I know I’m ready to run a 10K now anytime I choose to (if I choose to).