I hate rant-y posts. They make me feel uncomfortable, as if the blogger were a seven-headed, scimitar-wielding, morning-breath Dragon Demon coming up against a voiceless butterfly. It’s not a fair fight. The blogger gets to say whatever the heck fire they want, without any challenge or without any feedback. Who wants to read that?
On that note, I prefer to refer to how this post is attempting to come across as as more “instructional” than “rant-y”.
Today has been a wonderful, beautiful, blissful day. For some reason, loving Mother Nature decided to penetrate the horrid Kansas humidity with a high-70’s, breezy kind of day. Making the absolute most out of this anomaly, I strapped on Ann the Trusty Trail Shoe, loaded The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window and Disappeared, and powered out the door for a Friday morning long run. I decided to just run how my body wanted me to run, respecting the sore spots in my joints from my last Friday night trail half marathon and being aware at the autonomic processes taking place through my body. This is a wonderful way to run, it has the tendency to transport me to an almost different reality.
The stretch between my house and the trails runs along a pretty busy street, but I’m almost entirely oblivious of the enormous amounts of cars whipping past me (in a safe way, don’t worry Mother). I don’t feel self-conscious, I don’t feel as if there were pitying, sweat-free eyes tumbling over my slightly-sweaty, running self. I’m listening to a British man narrate a story about a crotchety old man named Alan, of course I have better things to do than worry about what I look like.
My bangs are slicked back in a sweat-plaster to my forehead, my blue-and-pink bird bandana has slipped down my head a tad, my cheeks are over-glowing with the exhilaration of exercise. But I really could care less, because imaging how I look is the least of my occupation.
I’m in the zone.
So yeah, I’m plugging away on this wonderful breezy run, listening to tales of geriatric mastery of Swedish con artists. I hit mile 10 and come back to the home stretch from the trails to my house. I’m still in the zone; smelling the breeze wafting scents of rose and baking bread, matching my heart beat with my stride, concentrating on my form and challenging my arms to be as parallel as possible. I’m driving the thigh, I’m relaxing my shoulders, I’m lengthening my stride and increasing stride turn-over for a last mile surge.
When what do you know.
Some crazy kid honks at me.
I’m sure this car, traveling much too fast for me to catch the identity of the honker, contains a person of immense love to me. It’s probably some one who I love and respect, maybe even my best friend in the entire world. But it doesn’t really matter who it was, because the only thing I felt was intense and severe hatred for this honker. It scares the daylights out of me, I lose my rhythm, my stride goes to crap, and I miss the part in my audiobook whereupon Alan and Jonas open the suitcase and reveal the contents of the swanky drug dealer.
It wasn’t that I was in the way, or doing anything stupid. I was running with concentrated form on the sidewalk, the pedestrian safe zone. They simply recognized me and then…what? Wanted me to recognize them, stop my run, start running after them in order that we could have a nice lovely chat about the weather and the tide charts?
I can be a “touchy” runner, I have accepted this. This is a combination of a). being in a zone and being so disinclined to being interrupted from said zone b). being a tad hungry, because I run on an empty stomach before a meal and c). because running makes one uncomfortable, that’s the point of running, and therefore my needs are never being met when I’m running. I’m sweating, I’m usually thirsty, I’m usually hungry, I usually need to slam my legs up a wall and let the blood drain from my ankles…the point of running is to get to this state of discomfort.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to smile at other runners or acknowledge the cyclists that politely race past me. I am a polite runner. But I still reserve the right to get frustrated when I have to stop every 1/3 of a mile at a stoplight, or when a car pulls waaaaay over the crosswalk to wait for the parallel car to pass, such to make me have to step off the sidewalk and pass behind the car. I’m in the zone, and I love the zone and I cherish the zone. And it makes me really frustrated to be ripped out of the zone so carelessly.
What did honking even do? I am not at this fancy cocktail party, where I will get subconsciously upset if someone I know doesn’t acknowledge that they don’t know me. I am running. I don’t care that I know you. I can say hi to you in a better situation.
I apologize for the undercutting rants (they might have been more surfaced than how I envisioned this going). I hope you can sympathize with my frustration over being out of the zone. But much more so than simple empathy, I hope that this was instructional. If I weren’t a runner, I probably wouldn’t know that honking could be so bothersome. It wouldn’t have been something I would think about if I hadn’t been on the receiving end of the honk.
I don’t hate the honker for his or her (the identity still remains unclear) ignorance over my abhorrence of honking. I hate that it happened, but I don’t hate the person. Heck, it is probably some super jolly pal of mine who might be reading this post right now, feeling like the scum of the earth because they just wanted to offer a friendly wave.
Look, dear beloved anonymous honker, I don’t hate you. I don’t understand you, but I definitely don’t hate you. You are a wonderful, good-hearted, well-meaning human being. I’m just in the zone. Please, please, please, please, if you have any respect for me or any love at all, please refrain from honking the living daylights out of every part of my soul next time we pass shoe to tire.
Unless I’m doing something unknowingly stupid, the horn is not my friend even if you are.
Peace and Blessings,