Not sure why I felt the urge to do this in poem form. I never really got the hang of poetry, not even in my angsty teenage years. But hey, no one is perfect. Right? …Right??
Thank you to the drivers who slow down when passing a runner on the road.
Thank you to the drivers who move over,
crossing the yellow line
to give me a wide berth,
as I huff and puff,
thinking about my stride and pace and pulse
all the while, hoping each and every driver sees me.
Thank you to the drivers who smile and nod.
You make me feel safer running down the shoulder of the road.
When I know you see me, I know I’m safer.
Running makes my heart race,
but that’s nothing compared to a car speeding by
well over the speed limit, and nothing like
seeing a driver holding a cell phone to his ear, unfocused,
and nothing like hoping a passing car sees me as a try
to stay as far out of the way as possible on the tight inside curve
with a white shoulder line under my feet
crumbling into the dirt and debris on the side of the road.
Thank you to those that acknowledge the runner,
who take steps to ensure we’re not a target but also
aware that you’re aware of us.
I even have a thank you for the hunters
who slow way down as they pull out of the hunt club
shouting compliments on my colors. Sure,
there may be a few who are merely appreciate
the shortness of the purple and pink shorts,
or the knee-high look of my bright yellow compression sleeves,
but some do understand and appreciate the importance of
dressing like a highlighter to enjoy a hobby safely.
I think I can safely say this for every other road runner:
To each and every one of you who take the time
to be extra safe and cautious around us crazy runners,
thank you from the bottom of our hearts
to the tips of our sore, aching toes.