The Running Man
by Clara Grandt on December 16, 2012
I see the same man running nearly every morning, whether I’m out there running myself or driving by, if I’m in that same spot at that same time, I will see him along the same stretch of road each morning. He’s always running the same pace, the same time of day, and the same route. His small build is slightly bent over, but not frail. He’s probably in his 70’s, but who knows, maybe running is keeping him younger and he’s really 80’s or even 90 years old. His outfit varies slightly depending on the season. In the summer, it’s a white singlet and yellow running shorts (they look pretty retro). In cooler spring and fall weather a pair of gloves and a knit cap may be added to the ensemble. Winter, he breaks out a plain white long-sleeve for an extra layer, and on the coldest days he’s in a black windbreaker and black running pants, with the same knit hat, and same gloves.
I have yet to take a good look at his shoes. I have wondered, though, how often he switches shoes. Is it every 400 or 500 miles? Does he go until there are holes in them and the soles are worn down? Are they Mizunos? Why did he ever start running in the first place? Why does he run now? Why doesn’t he add a little adventure and try a different route? How often does he wash his clothes? How old is he really?
Isn’t it funny how something so consistent, so plain and simple, like someone doing one of the simplest and most repetitive things- running, and running the same path, same time, same speed, and wearing the same clothes can spark so much curiosity and interest? The truth is I find this running man’s dedication and simplicity quite intriguing.
I admire his consistency and dedication. I plan on running and racing for a long time and setting the same example of dedication through my life. I may run a number of different routes and races, different times of the day, different speeds, wear different clothes, and have different reasons and goals for doing all this, but I’ll always be running. The old running man and I are very different runners, but we share a common interest in running and common value of dedication.
This is one reason I love running and love running on the roads so much. I get to be around a lot of different people with a common appreciation for the simple things in life, and the running man I see in the mornings is one of them. When I return to racing this spring, I’ll look forward to seeing more people like the running man.