An Open Letter to a Considerate Motorist

An Open Letter to a Considerate Motorist

Dear motorist,

Let me just start by saying, you’re brilliant. When you saw me jogging up to that busy junction, all sweaty and red-faced, you could have easily just ignored me and carried on with your day. To be fair, most would.

Driver thanksBut you didn’t. And that’s why I’m writing this now.

I’m not sure what your reasons were; maybe someone had just given way to you and you wanted to pay their kindness forward, maybe you were in a good mood and fancied spreading some goodwill, or perhaps you’re just a lovely person. Whatever the motive, you slowed to a stop and you waved me across the junction with a smile.

Fantastic. If more people were like you, the world would be a much nicer place

Except…

Six-and-a-bit miles into an eight mile run. It was supposed to be a relaxed pace, but I’d been pushing it a bit more than I’d planned to and as a result was huffing and puffing like a battered old steam train that had no chance whatsoever of passing it’s next MOT.

(I don’t think steam trains actually have MOTs, strictly speaking, but let’s imagine for a second that they do and that this one would make the mechanic cry into his oily rag).

Anyway, I digress, and I can see you’re a busy man (although not so busy that you can’t spare a few seconds to help out a weary runner).

So, the point is I was knackered. It’d been a hard run. There’d been hills. And bears. Okay, not bears, but certainly hills.

Well, hillocks, but you get the idea. Learn more about Hill Training.

But I hadn’t stopped. As much as I’d wanted to, I hadn’t so much as slowed to a brisk walk; because that would be giving in, and I wasn’t in that sort of mood.

However, there’s a world of difference between choosing to stop and having to stop, and I knew that this road junction was on my route back and, more importantly, I knew it was traditionally a busy one. So while the proud, stubborn part of my brain was shouting, “Not stopping, Not slowing, Push through it, Feel the burn, No pain, No Cheese (or whatever)”, the sneaky weasel part of my brain was whispering, “just a little bit longer, then you’ll have no choice but to stand still and wait to cross that wonderfully busy road”.

The promise of this junction was dangling in front of me like a carrot stuffed with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, except it was all organic, fair trade and magically zero-calorie. A mangled wreck of a metaphor, but what I’m getting at is that at the point in the run where our paths crossed, the junction was a long-awaited oasis of totally guilt-free rest.

That’s right, the junction. The junction that I was now being cheerfully waved across without needing to break my stride even slightly. By you.

So I smiled, and I carried on running. Because as someone wise once said, there’s a world of difference between choosing to stop and having to stop. And now I didn’t have to stop at all, did I? I didn’t notice if you had your window wound down, but if you did you may have noticed that my smile was accompanied by a whimper.

So, Mr Altruistic Motorist, my heart is filled with love for your kind gesture and my brain is marvelling at what a wonderful world this would be if more people were like you.

But my legs? Well sir, my legs think you’re an absolute &?£$£!#.

Yours sincerely,

J


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Posted

I hear ya! And the question is at these (lung saving) junctions...is 'auto pause' on the Garmin a cheat seeing as I haven't CHOSEN to stop?!

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Posted

Love it!  Same  thing with traffic lights as you're approaching and they're green and you think, Thank God, a chance for a rest while I wait for them to change and as soon as you get there they turn red!

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Posted

I don't have that problem on Grassington Moor, but an Aberdeen Angus bull I sometimes encounter makes sure I keep going.

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Posted

Truly one of the best blogs I have ever read. I love pedestrian crossing traffic lights where you have to wait for the motorist to stop before you can cross and always hope for a long delay. The enforced break allows you to stop guilt free and I haven't decided to stop because I am weak!

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Posted

Thank you for this, it has brought a smile to my face after a long week. :0)

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Posted

Oh so true, I am sure every runner has shared that sentiment at some time.

A guilt free stop even if its for a few seconds to reset the mind and the pain of being deprived that break.

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Posted

Thanks for the lovely comments folks - you're all officially brilliant.

Slowbutsteady: I turned autopause off a looooong time ago.  This was basically because I realised I had no way of knowing just how much those little pauses refreshed me, and whether I would have even finished the run if it hadn't been for them. It all counts, and if we cheat, we only cheat ourselves.

Also, I'd really like some waffles right now. Not terribly relevant to this post, but true nonetheless.

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Posted

So true!

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Posted

Ha! I know that feeling.  Just as an aside, and really not wanting to be a killjoy, over the years, I've seen two instances where motorists have "kindly" held back and waved others to proceed... straight into the path of another vehicle.  So please remember that just because one person waves for you to go, does not mean it is safe to do so.  I'm sure both motorists thought they were doing the others a favour, but they weren't.....

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5 minutes ago