Friday, June 17, 2011

The Wave

The wave is an interesting thing. It is one of the first things little kids learn how to do. "Wave bye-bye!" It warms your heart to see a little wave bye-bye to you. Or wave hello to you. Heck, little kids - toddlers - seem to wave to strangers! I love it! It is so cute, and always makes me smile when a little kid waves to me.

When I started running, I felt like a bit of a poser. I didn't wave to other runners. Why would I? I wasn't a real runner! Then, once I started to feel like a real runner (oh, somewhere after my first half marathon), I would feel comfortable enough calling myself a runner and started to wave to other runners. Now, I attempt to make eye contact with every runner I pass. I'd guess that about half of them look back at me. Maybe more often on Sundays. I tend to nod, or say hi, or just wave. It makes me feel like part of a little club of like minded people when another runner acknowledges me and gives me a bit of a wave.

I've been a runner now for about seven years. and I've kind of gotten used to the runner wave. The novelty had worn off. That is, until I bought my Vespa a few weeks ago.

Now, I ride a Vespa. And, technically, a Vespa IS a motorcycle. I don't FEEL like a motorcycle driver, even though I have a motorcycle license, drive a two wheeled vehicle, and wear a helmet and other safety gear. But, most motorcycle drivers - even those that drive those huge beasts of motorcycles - wave to me. To ME! At first, I assumed there was a big bike behind me. But nope, there wasn't. It took me a few weeks to get down how to wave while driving. Tonight, I drove to the mall, and then to the grocery store, and every motorcycle driver I passed waved or nodded to me. I feel so included in this new club! It's great! It's amazing how that little piece of acknowledgement makes a newbie feel included and welcome.

I'd been thinking about this the last few weeks. I've been making more of an effort to pay attention to the other runners I pass. Today, I ran on my lunch break, downtown Halifax. It was a lovely sunny day. There were a few runners out there that I passed. I waved and said hello to every one of them. Only one of them waved back. But, maybe one of the ones who didn't was a new runner, and maybe they felt included in this little group by my wave.

Amazing what one little gesture can do to make someone feel included.

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