So I’ve been running for about four years now. I consider myself pretty serious but not crazy about it. I run 4-5 times a week for at least five miles at a clip. I have two half marathons and one full under my belt since I’ve gotten to New York (My second full will be in May). Like I said, serious but not crazy. Honestly, though, this isn’t about the actual act of running so much as it’s a plea for a return to decency for runners everywhere. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FREAKIN RUNNERS’ WAVE!? I thought us runners were a club, a fraternity and a sorority in one, a Frarority if you will (or Sorternity if you prefer that).
I was in school at Delaware when I began running regularly. From there, I moved to Wheeling, West Virginia where I really got into it for a while. After all, I had nothing else to do because it was Wheeling, West Virginia. When I ran in both of these places, I could always count on any person I passed to return my wave or if I was feeling super cool, my head nod. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering Wheeling’s nickname is the “Friendly City,” but that’s not exactly the nickname I would give it. But here, in NYC, the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, I can’t get one person to acknowledge that I’ve acknowledged them. I know people are busier here, things move faster here and people are just flat-out impatient here, but seriously runners, we are supposed to have a thing. As of last Friday, I had accepted this no wave situation as normal, but I had to really find out if the “runner’s wave” just doesn’t happen in New york. It was a beautiful rainy evening, and I figured if anyone’s going to be out there running right now, they are dedicated and maybe, juuuuust maybe, they believe in the most sacred of sacreds. By the way, if you’ve never gone running in the rain, give it a shot because it is all at once invigorating and refreshing.
So off i went, into the rain, all the while looking to conduct my social experiment not knowing for sure if this would give me my final answer. Low and behold, within my first mile, there was another runner. Clearly motivated and dedicated, here was my chance. Our paths crossed, eyes met and in a simultaneous motion I both waved and nodded my head. I gave the dude all I had. It was a “Double What’s Up.” And I got in return; Nothing. Are you freaking kidding me? It was over. I would never wave to someone again. But what a lucky day because as I was making my way down the home stretch a female was running my way. Because I had exerted so much energy on the same time wave nod, I could only do so much. I timed my arm’s motion so that when my right hand reached its high point, I merely lifted my index and middle fingers like some runners gang sign. Really, it was an impressive maneuver. But it was for nought because once again, I was shut out.
So I’m done. I’ve become a jaded, cynical city person. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. But I will always hold out hope for that one day when someone gives ME a nod, and my faith will be restored and all will be good and right with the world…..who am I kidding? I’m still going to be the guy that waves to you when you pass so throw me a bone and respond.