Runner’s Etiquette

There’s a contradiction in terms . . . a paradox . . . ? One of the 30 yr. old freedoms that I enjoy as a 6AM runner is the freedom from behavioral expectations.

Many times I have reflected that my early morning, “not-so-polished” companions have been absolute angels of God, sent to keep me sane in the otherwise periodically maddening world of pastoral ministry. Every once in a while I realize that I haven’t shifted out of “Rev.” and then one of my buddies brings me back to early morning reality.

They don’t look so good in the morning. They don’t smell so good. They rarely say, “Excuse me . . . “. There is absolutely no sympathy to be had and quickly a fledgling 6AM’er surrenders this expectation to the therapeutic value of learning to laugh at oneself as opposed to feeling sorry for the same.

The refreshing thing is that they are REAL!

In the early morning pre-dawn hours before the world puts its masks in place, no one expects or wants anything else.

One thing that I am struggling with these days is the “No man runs alone.” thing. As I have tried to regain my slow status, I want to run alone.

Now this is one of those few “polite” gestures that we offer to people who want to start running. I think the intent is good and the sentiment . . . so lusciously thoughtful.

But . . .

leave me alone . . . please. I’ll meet you at coffee. The new motto of the aging group. “The 6AM Runners . . . where running is optional and coffee is mandatory.” This of course replaces the old one for those of us over 50. The old one was: “The 6AM Runners . . . not too slow . . . not to fast. Half fast!” Say it fast and let me know when you get it. So these days I am a half fast runner dedicated to coffee or tea in my case.

I really do love you guys. but I know what happens to people who get lured into a good “Tigger Tale”. I have seen too many people verbally dragged over the dark streets, trying to keep up with one of his addictive narratives that has little to no sense to it at all. The only one of the group who can tell a better story with no point at all is Gimli and he is on the “half fast” list right now as well.

Could someone else help me to develop our list of protocols?

Pumba

PS . . . there is a non polite origin to this nickname that has earned me my uncontested place at the back of the pack.

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2 Responses to Runner’s Etiquette

  1. Pat says:

    Cool… I can’t believe you captured a photo of an actual elf!

  2. Rupert says:

    Firstly, the freedom from behavioural expectations is one of the best qualities of the group.
    Secondly, as the Assistant to the Regional VP of Communications, I fully endorse the new motto. Although I unfortunately neither run nor attend coffee. R.I.N.O. = Running Injured Not Obligated.

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