My husband and I go running together several times a week. We’re not fast and we’re not agile, but we do keep going. Over the years, we’ve come to recognize the various people you meet when you run. They’re not always the exact same people, but there are a few familiar types:
Don’t Worry, He’s Harmless
This is an earnest dog lover who has to shout above the sound of her slavering, snarling ragebeast who is expressing his harmlessness by opening his mouth so wide, you can see inside his tail. Don’t worry! Why would we worry! Why should you even consider putting such an animal on a leash, when really it’s the rest of the world that is being silly and mean by worrying! Coincidentally, on days when we meet Don’t Worry He’s Harmless, we always make the best time.
O to be young!
A deeply tanned, deeply wrinkled woman in baggy jeans and a sassy t-shirt who spends her mornings toddling through the dappled sunlight, beaming at trees. When she comes within hailing distance, she stops, throws her head back and her arms out, and croaks, “O to be young!” Then stands there with her mouth open and an expectant smile on her face. I have no idea what to say to this, so I usually say, “Oh ho ho, ha ha!” and keep running. One time she didn’t say it, and I felt so old…