From A New Pandemic Runner: Please Drive Carefully

Tirachard Kumtanom/Pexels

It was a chilly crisp morning in early December with a forecast for late morning snow. I knew I wanted to get out, so after an excellent cup of espresso and a few microwaved pancakes for my youngsters, I strapped on my sneakers and went for a run.

Now, me even saying these phrases proper now makes my entire physique cringe. Before the pandemic, I hardly ever exercised. A weekly stroll across the block or a 15 minute cruise on my elliptical was one thing that may have felt like a win. I in all probability would have congratulated myself and granted my physique a two-week reprieve from anymore train.

However (like thousands and thousands of individuals across the globe), when quarantine hit I wanted to discover a option to get out of the home on my own…and so I began working.

Over the previous a number of months, I’ve achieved my greatest to be a accountable runner. I’ve all-weather sneakers, a blinking visibility gentle, a sports activities face masks and protecting gear for all temps. I’ve even gotten to some extent the place I’ll run within the rain, demonstrating to everybody I do know simply how determined I’m for just a little me-time day by day.

So again to that morning…I used to be following all of the protocols attainable – working on the sidewalks, stopping at cease indicators and checking my blind spots at each crossing. I stay in a city-suburb exterior of Pittsburgh the place on a two mile run, I cross about 20 intersections. There are days it may be actually nerve wracking consistently being on the protection from different pedestrians, automobiles and site visitors, however with a purpose to be secure, it’s actually the one option to be.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

On today, a pickup truck and I arrived at a four-way cease signal on the similar time. He signaled for me to cross, and I went. Unfortunately he was trying down at his cellphone and he should have thought I used to be crossing in a distinct route. He hit the fuel and went straight into me. I slammed my hand on his hood, which made him instantly hit the brakes.

I used to be fortunately not harm, and so with my coronary heart racing, I simply waved and stored working. I felt fortunate to be okay, and I’m positive he felt fortunate to have escaped having a sufferer of his absent-minded driving.

As a runner I expertise issues like this virtually day by day. And if I’m being actually trustworthy, this example was removed from the worst factor I’ve seen.

I’ve witnessed numerous individuals breeze by way of well-placed, unblocked cease indicators. Men and ladies alike blast by way of neighborhoods crammed with kids at speeds that aren’t even okay for four-lane highways. People younger and previous honk and swerve at runners like me in the event that they deem their actions to be in applicable (when there’s completely nothing mistaken). And on a regular basis I see individuals their telephones, placing on make-up and even studying the newspaper whereas driving by way of the streets of my neighborhood.

There are days it seems like some individuals have misplaced their minds, they usually merely neglect {that a} automobile can kill a human. That their actions whereas working this huge piece of equipment has penalties if ran inappropriately. That my life in some ways is of their arms. Because consider it or not, I’m actually no match for a shifting automobile. Pexels

And it’s not simply me; this pandemic has pushed individuals out in droves. There are aged individuals, younger {couples} with new puppies, mother and father with waddling toddlers, and youngsters on bikes. It’s really superb to see, but additionally a change so many drivers should not fairly used to.

I’ve usually felt like I’m in a sport of Frogger, simply leaping left and proper to keep away from some impediment. It’s virtually a miracle some days I make it dwelling unscathed.

I’m wondering means too usually whereas strolling out the door, “Will I come back home okay?” I have a look at my husband studying and my youngsters stuffing their faces with gooey, sprinkle-filled mini pancakes and ponder if the train I selected may really be one thing that might actually harm me.

I do know my dramatics could seem extreme, however give it some thought — when’s the final time you breezed by way of a cease signal or checked a textual content whereas driving down a well-recognized street? It’s not one thing most individuals would do on function, however sadly it’s one thing a number of us do subconsciously.

So I encourage you to simply give it some thought. Be conscious of the individuals round you whereas driving by way of locations the place individuals stroll with their youngsters or run with their canines. Simply obey the legal guidelines and provides them some house. Realize their vulnerability, and that the duty of the street lies with you.

And if it helps, think about if it was was your mom or daughter attempting to get some contemporary air and time to herself. Then (only for a second) you look down at your cellphone, drive just a little too quick and miss a cease signal. Now place them innocently on the aspect of the street. Can you assure you gained’t hit them?

It’s a threat I might by no means be prepared to take. So do your self and everybody on the market a favor, and please please please simply concentrate when you drive.

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