Almost Run Over While Running
Another day, another 5K.
It’s my thing. Part of my daily ritual. Five days a week. Get up. Light breakfast. Run at least 5K. Write at least 1K words. The running is as much of a job as anything else I do. It keeps my blood sugar numbers in check. I took up running about fifteen years ago, in my thirties. Please refrain from doing the math, it makes me feel old.
When running, there are certain truths.
Truth 1: If you’re aiming for the sprinkler up the street to cool you down, it will shut off seven seconds before you reach it.
Truth 2: The larger the dog that is barking at you, the smaller the fence and more likely it can actually rip your face off. At the end of my block, there’s a humongous guard dog that has no fence. He’s extremely well trained, and if I run before 9AM, he’s sitting on the front steps waiting for me. He used to bark ferociously. After a familiarity of years, I am greeted with a wagging tail and happy yip. Yes, I am most sure he can still rip my face off.
Truth 3: Wiggling your fingers in greeting and making panting grunt noises at the guy who runs the other direction every day makes you best bros. I think I’m in his will.
Truth 4: Runners in full lycra and run monitor gear are too snobby to even nod a greeting, but people in torn dirty shirts and worn sneakers are the best smiles and encouragement. I believe women in sunglasses bigger than their face actual have a VR setup in there that blocks me out so they don’t even see me.
Today, a new truth must be entered into the logs:
The guy in the black pickup truck is a vile human being.
Here I am, obviously dedicated to running along in my shorts and tank top, a middle aged guy clearly working at making the best of a beautiful day, when I’m approaching a driveway with a big truck in it. I make sure the guy sees me. I wave in thanks that he sees me and I will continue past. It happens somewhere along my route every day, maybe a few times. A heads up safety nod and you continue. It’s protocol, and it’s right of way.
As I approach the driveway, he floors it. Literal tires screeching, spitting gravel, dust coming up to stick against my sweat. I have to stop. And I mean I HAVE to stop. I was less than two feet from this truck. Had I slipped at that moment, I would have been hit.
What would possess a man to make him feel he needed to almost injure someone? What made him feel good about making me stop, something a runner dreads? Did he laugh? What sort of bizarre rush comes from being selfish?
For me to cross a driveway takes, I don’t know, maybe two and a half seconds? Did he need to get into traffic that badly that the two second lead would get him where he’s going?
Was this a misdirected display of masculinity? Was he threatened by the fact that a middle aged man has better calves than he does? Did he need to prove his truck cost more than my sneakers?
I made eye contact with the driver before this. I waved and said thank you. There was no way he took it as me saying, please, try and hit me. It was not that he didn’t see me. I’m just really glad I make sure I pee before every run or it would have been bad.
What if he actually hit me?
So, dude in such a hurry to show the world why you need to show off that you’re a jerk, nearly kill me and cover me in road dust…