Of why I hardly comment on things that involve health or fitness! DOIT2ITJULIA's post (congrats on the mainpage!) about the knob that thought writing a Facebook screed about a guy he doesn't know and how he thinks it's so great that this "fatty" has the fortitude to get out there and run, inspired me to share a personal anecdote. And this is how I feel now:
I'm not against differing viewpoints on the idea of runners "encouraging" each other while they're out. I personally think it's best saved for races when you're all in it together and just want to get to the finish line where there are bagels. Others do not—and that's fine! But recognize that not everyone is coming from the same space as you are. If I'm out running and someone shoots some encouragement my way I'm not going to scream at them for being "encouraging" or "friendly" but if I choose to either ignore it or half ass a smile in their direction it's not meant as a slight to them or a crushing blow to humanity. Maybe it's a gentle reminder that not everyone wants to or has to interact with you in public. I don't hate the guy that high-fived me—but to be honest, I did question his motivation behind singling me out among other people running near me. Did I look winded? Did I look sad? Or like I was struggling? I had been running for a year at that point and thought I was doing okay, was I wrong? I knew nods and smiles were par for the course but someone being loud and encouraging at you when you aren't expecting it is slightly jarring.
The whole point of the article was to not be lame and condescending to people who are working out that don't fit your ideal of what you think physical fitness is. Just because you're not posting word vomit on your facebook about it doesn't mean that the person you gave thumbs up to or shouted "you're awesome" at is going to know you're sincere.
I don't really view myself as a runner. I view myself as a person who runs. So maybe this is where the difference in opinion comes from. Anyways...I feel like I'm mostly writing this because I keep getting replies that just repeat what other people have already said and it's kind of exhausting reading them! So...carry on!