I wanted to ask all of your opinions on the best way to encourage runners–especially those who are perhaps slower than you, or do not have the same passion and love for running as you do.
I have had this post written for a while, but was unsure how to word it and if it would come across how I meant for it!
A quick word regarding this post:
**I really hope I am wording this correctly and not coming across as a huge B*tch. I just wanted to ask others (your) opinions on encouraging runners whom you are faster than without coming off as condescending/rude/making-fun-of/better-than-you. Please read to the end… and let me know if this come off wrong!! Please!!**
I LOVE to wave, smile, and say Hi to other runners when out running! There is seriously nothing greater than someone out there, pounding the pavement, sweat dripping down their face, shirt wet against their back, face in a determined grimace. There is nothing more beautiful!!!
When I get passed by another, faster runner, I say “Hey” and “Keep it up!” — and it is almost always reciprocated!
When a runner is coming towards me, I always smile, wave and give a “Way to go!!” That common bond between runners is just plain awesome.
**But there are a few situations where I am more uncomfortable and not as quick to encourage… and this it is out of respect for their feelings that I am more hesitant to wave.**
There are two groups of runners that I feel slightly uncomfortable to encourage and “cheer on” when I am running.
The First Group: Extremely beginner Runners whom you fly around and pass.
-I LOVE when I see any runner out running.. literally my heart gets so happy! I just love runners and I love encouraging them! But I also feel “bad” when I pass someone… and I feel that saying “Good Job” when I run by might come off as condescending and “in-your-face”. This is so far from the meaning that I am trying to convey!!!
-I find that most of the people I pass are dangerously overweight or obese, and seeing them out there, determined and trekking along, is the greatest sight. I so much want to just excitedly yell, “KEEP IT UP!! YOU ARE DOING SOO GREAT!!” But I picture if that were me, I would maybe feel embarrassed, annoyed, and frustrated if a girl ran by with a smile having so much fun while I was trying to put one foot in front of the other. (Maybe I am entirely speculating here… please tell me if I am way off base!)
The Second Group: Runners whom get frustrated and annoyed by your love and intensity of running.
-I am mainly addressing runners who really don’t like running but use it only as a cardio workout to stay in shape. That is totally fine… I have no problem with that! I applaud you for the dedication to stay healthy doing something you don’t even enjoy doing! Props!
I find that when I wave and encourage them… they get frustrated and annoyed by my clear LOVE of running and it turns them off from it even more. Many of the people I talk to about this think of runners as a “cult”. When I get all giddy and excited and smile at them on the road, it is like I am confirming this cult idea–I mean why would anyone find so much enjoyment in such a hard suffering activity!?!?! They must all be crazy and drinking the same kool-aid…
The last thing I want is to turn people off from running. That is the exact OPPOSITE of what I want! I get worried that for these two categories of runners, a kind “wave and smile” from another runner passing around them will do more harm than good.
But is ignoring them better? Is that the message of the running world?? NO. I am sure of that. The running world is anything BUT exclusive, cold, and “high-and-mighty”.
So what is the answer? PLEASE I would LOVE to hear your input!
I hope I worded this correctly and I deeply deeply apologize for anyone offended. it is 100% not my intention!!
Please have a Great Tuesday and realize how great you all are 🙂
What advice to you have for me/others?
What is your favorite way to encourage/be encouraged when running, at the gym, spinning, etc?