R.E.S.P.E.C.T

and blind corners...


I've been mulling this post for a while as it's not really a health and fitness one, so much as a shout-out to where I live and the genuinely nice people who also live here.

I live in the country. It's not so far out of the city that I can't go shopping or anything, but I am surrounded by farmland, and bush, and serenity, and community. All of these things are really important to me, but it's the community that I appreciate every time I go out running.

Living in the country, I run on country roads. Some of them have footpaths, but not many. Some have a hard shoulder, but not all. Some of them are gravel, even, but not too many. Some of them are so narrow there isn't even a centre line, including my own road.

But what I find is that no matter where I am, people driving on those roads are respectful of my right to be on that road too. Every single car on the road moves over and gives me plenty of room. They pretty much all cross over the centre line and drive down the middle of the road. A lot will go all the way across and drive down the wrong side entirely. And it's not like these are straight roads where you can see for ages, either. 

And it's not only the drivers. Everyone I encounter, other runners, walkers, with or without dogs, cyclists, whatever, everyone says at least hello or gives a nod in passing. Many make a comment, about the weather, about how far I might have run, and I respond. 

A while back, running up a road which did have a footpath, there were a couple of road-workers with a concrete cutter doing something to the path. Just before I got to the cloud of dust, the guy working the cutter stopped it, pulled his mate who was facing the other way off the path so I could go past, and then apologised. So that I could run past without having to breathe in their debris. 

People don't have to do these things. But they do them anyway. And I appreciate it so much. I can go out there on those tiny narrow or gravelly rough roads and I know that people will slow down. I can run on the hard shoulder of Highway 16 (such a lovely piece of roading) and feel completely safe. Because people are thoughtful.

The only exception in my experience was a little wee blue-rinse granny in her little wee blue-rinse Honda - she had her foot to the floor and she. owned. the. road. I had to jump a drain that time.

And what does this have to do with blind corners? On my standard running route, the short one, there are three particularly blind corners where there are either trees or a bank alongside. I have nowhere to go. I have never yet managed to get around that circuit without encountering someone coming the other way on at least one of those corners. I have managed the trifecta of oncoming traffic on all three in one run. But every time, those drivers come around those corners, see me, and swerve well out of the way. They haven't actually got anywhere to go, but they see that neither do I, and so they give way to me. 

You have no idea how grateful I am for all those thoughtful people, and that's why I'm telling you.

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