Friday, February 05, 2010

Motorist madness

Unless you're living under a rock and that little dark place doesn't have cable, satellite or wi-fi, you're aware of the major snow event moving through the eastern USA.

Some areas such as DC are bracing for two feet or more; here in Boone, we saw snow last night and now rain...which will produce a glazed over mess in a few hours.

In an effort to push back on becoming stir crazy in my small apartment, I opted for another 90 minute run this morning. The only way to make it happen is to run along the edge of plowed roads, always facing traffic. I took an out and back approach, heading into the country and away from the few cars that were out.

Most drivers were giving me a wide berth, so I rewarded each one with the traditional Tom Terrific thumbs up. Many seemed to embrace it, including the county sheriff who went by twice.

I was on the route back, slugging up a steep, slippery incline when a large black SUV pulled near and put down the passenger window. The driver, cup of coffee in hand, berated me for being "in the middle of the road" and told me to get off or "we'll hit you."

I was actually so far off the road that I was out of the plow zone. The message shocked me, so I shouted "OK! Have a good day!" into his vehicle.

Seems my retort caught this miscreant motorist a bit off guard, so he responded by driving away. Thoughts boiled inside as I made the remainder of the distance home:

- The small girl sitting in the passenger seat. Haven't all of us retained some childhood memories that were burned into our brains? What will this youngster take away from that encounter? That daddy thinks men who run on roads in the snow are bad?

- Witty responses such as "Well, if you hit me and I'm still alive the first call I'll make will be to my attorney. We'll figure it out from there" and "I pay my North Carolina state taxes. Would you mind if I use this six inch wide strip of road along the edge?"

But then I settled into my pace and realized that running makes me feel alive, and that running in snow storms creates adaptability that enhances all areas of my life.

I will not be a coward, I will not stay off the roads and let motorists intimidate me. You do your thing, I'll do mine.

Just leave me alone and let me run.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Tom,
    After a similar incident, I came up with the witty reply I wish I'd said... "Your truck does seem to take up a lot of room. Why do you have such a big truck? Are you compensating for something?" I can never come up with a good reply on the spur of the moment.
    run on... and on... and on...