In the last month, I’ve had more close calls with cars than I am comfortable with (read about one here). And I had another one recently which really got me thinking [we all know how dangerous this is]…and I decided to write a letter to drivers.
I get it. You’re busy.
I get it. It’s a road.
I get that your mind is racing – filled with to do lists, places to be and wondering if you forgot your lunch.
I get that the coffee you just grabbed from Starbucks is hot and that you need to add another pack of Truvia to make it “just right”.
I even get that you think that said roads are mostly made for cars. But what I don’t get is how you can continually ignore the people around you when you drive.
In fact, 90% of the time – I’m you. I’m behind the wheel dealing with the same distractions and temptations. I get that your phone pings, bings and even sings, beckoning and begging you to pick it up. Like a 2 year old kid with their face nose to nose with yours, your phone implores you to “Pay attention to me!”.
Truth be told, I don’t even like running on roads. But because people can’t keep their hands off of others and be nice, I have to stay off the trails during certain times when I’m running alone.
And despite my neon clothes, flashing lights, street smarts and best efforts, you still don’t see me.
So if common sense won’t prevail, let me remind you of some things.
I’m not just a runner.
I am Sheila. Sure I’m a runner, but I’m so much more. Please look beyond my laces and neon clothing I don so you can’t miss me. I’m a mom. In fact, if you hit me, there are 3 little boys who need their mom to make them dinner later today. I’m a volunteer. I’m a part of a spiritual community. I’m an employee. I’m a sister. I’m an aunt. I’m a teacher. I’m a daughter. I’m a cousin. I’m a friend. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a colleague. I’m a student.
I have hours and hours of time and training put in to reach a goal, so please, don’t take me out at my knees. You have hobbies too, right? I promise to not come knock down that puzzle you worked really hard on when it’s almost done. I won’t spill my coffee on your laptop taking away all of your hard work. I won’t burn the dinner you made for your kids.
Just promise me this – next time you see a runner or biker on the street – remember they’re more than a 3 second delay in your busy day. Promise me you’ll slow down before you make a turn. You’ll look both left and RIGHT before making that right hand turn. You’ll make sure no bikers or runners are in the bike lane before swerving into it. And for the love of the land – please put down your cell phone down and let the latte sit until you get to your destination. The runners, bikers and sidewalk rats in your life will thank you.
Somewhat Speedy Sheila