When I run, I usually run where there are few others running. It is not that I don’t like people but I do prefer to be solitary during my running times.
Running is therapeutic on several levels. Physically it is good as an aerobic workout. It builds bone density and promotes formation of the feel good hormones like serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine.
Psychologically it promotes self control, it provides time for rumination without interruption and it builds confidence.
So I run where I am not distracted by too many persons or events or objects. I have to be aware of my surroundings and alert to any possible hazards but this helps to develop mindfulness.
Today I changed my route. I headed into San Fernando about ten to fifteen minutes away from Marabella where I run. In San Fernando there is a walking/jogging path adjacent to one of first sporting arenas, Skinner Park.
My plan was to use the path to warm up, then do some light hill work on the nearby Todd Street incline, then warm down again in the Park.
I started the warm up in the Park, then met some friends whom I had seen for a while. I spent some time chatting with them before continuing my warming up session.
As I made a few short runs to warm up and do my stretches, I encountered one group which annoyed me mildly. This group of older persons decided to walk in a group, blocking the entire pathway.
Most persons either had to slow down behind them or indicate in some way that they wanted to pass. I was moving in the opposite direction to them and decided to hold my ground, on one side of the pathway.
Passing them, I commented on their act of selfishness and to be honest, they replied appropriately apologetic.
Their contrite demeanor pacified me for the moment.
I continued with my planned run on the incline. I made friends with a homeless man, who sat contentedly under a tree. He was nonthreatening.
Sweating profusely, I finished the last trek up the incline. My pulse was racing, my breath was just a little fast but steady. My legs held up nicely, the workout was intense but not too much.
The need to get home before it got too late prompted me to shorten the cooling down session. I decided on one lap around the Park before stretching and then heading home.
Smoothly (or so it felt) I ran around the path. It was filled with walkers, joggers and there were several football teams on the inside field. I was aware of them but barely saw them.
Then to my dismay, there ahead of me was a line of older persons again, not the same group. They spread out along the entire pathway, as if to deliberately block others from getting past them.
These folks tend to use this time as a social event. This is all well and good, but one needs to be conscious of others using the path for physical exercise. Why can’t they walk on one side, wouldn’t they still be able to chat with each other?
During a race, I can understand that there will be times when others will block the path and you have to do whatever it takes to get past them. But this was no race and others were being inconvenienced.
To squeeze past them was impossible unless I deliberately collided with at least one of them. I had to make a lot of noise, which is not something I like to do.
By this time the adrenaline from my training had kicked in and I was surging with endorphins. I kindly reminded them, even as I ran, that they needed to be more considerate.
I was told by an elderly gentleman, “Next time blow your horn!” That really set me off. I replied, still very calmly and still running, “You are inconsiderate.” I said it twice for emphasis and also when he started to get abusive.
Had it been a group of young persons doing this, their response would have been that the young generation does not know how to conduct themselves.
How are the younger ones supposed to know if the older ones are not setting the right example?
Let it be known that I have no ill-will against older persons; I myself am rapidly approaching that category (some may even say I have reached already). What I am against is inconsideration and selfishness by anyone.
Finishing my schedule for the evening I just could not let it go by without commenting on this issue. This is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it will not be the last.
What do you think about this lack of consideration for others?