Life On The Shady Side Of The Street

shady sideI am a creature of habit, Modern Philosophers, and I abhor change.  The old adage would better pertain to me if it was: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it because you always end up hurting yourself and breaking it even worse.”

When I go running, I always run on the shoulder that has me facing traffic.  This is supposed to be safer because it allows me to see a car careening off the road on a collision course for me.  Statistics have also proven that it is harder for a driver to hit you if he can see the fear in your eyes.

Okay, I might have made up that second part.

Regardless, the fact remains that there is one way for me to run and I stick to it.  I’m not a rule breaker.  I don’t volunteer to enact change.  Like Nike wants, I just do it.

It was ridiculously warm again today.  My route away from The House on the Hill forces me to run on the sunny side of the street.  I know the other side of the street is quite shady because I always enjoy the lack of oppressive sunshine on my return route.

However, it’s never occurred to me, the wise Modern Philosopher, to do my entire run on the shady side of the street.  I mean, think of all the effort it would take to reverse the flow of traffic so that I could run in the shade while still facing the oncoming cars.  My toga gives me a certain amount of authority, but not the kind necessary to do this.

I was about ten minutes into my run, roasting under the sun, and at the point where I was probably medium rare and quickly approaching medium, when I had an epiphany.  I remembered a comment on yesterday’s running post in which a reader said she often ran on the shady side of the street just to add more mileage to her run.

Eureka!  I had legal precedence!  I could cross over and run in the shade if I so desired, traffic flow be damned.

eminemAnd you know what?  I did it!  With a rebel yell, this sweaty slim shady stood up and ran to the other side of the street.

My apologize to Billy Idol and Eminem for dragging them into this silliness, but that’s how euphoric I was.  It had honestly never crossed my mind to change my route to take advantage of the trees across the street.

What in the name of Zeus is wrong with me?

I definitely needed the shelter of those trees because I was dragging on run #23, and since it’s Sunday, I knew I still had the second stage of my Homeowner’s Biathlon waiting for me.  Had I remained on my usual route, I think Gary the Gargoyle would’ve found me sunny side up on Eastern Avenue and been forced to transport me to EMMC for IV fluids and a transfusion of common sense.

I made it back to The House on the Hill, and was desperate for the bottle of cold water waiting for me on the porch.  Unfortunately, my neighbors were in my driveway, moving around the items they store in my garage.  They decided to engage me in conversation even though a river of sweat was flowing off me and threatening to drown them, and I was bent over, gasping for breath, and not able to hold up my side of the chat.

For the second time that morning, I decided to rebel and embrace change.  Rather than being the charming and polite man the nuns raised me to be, I abruptly removed myself from the conversation, and used every last ounce of strength available to get me to that bottle of water.

keep-runningAfter drinking half the bottle and then pouring the rest over my head, I got out the lawnmower and quickly took care of the lawn.  Homeowner’s Biathlon completed, I collapsed on the front porch, where I have been sprawled for the last several hours.

It was all worth it, though, because I can now fit into my Summer togas, which had been too tight for me since I’d been so lazy and put on weight.

So change is good, Modern Philosophers.  Run on the shady side of the street, be it literally or metaphorically.  Just run…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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19 Responses to Life On The Shady Side Of The Street

  1. Just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed this post 🙂

  2. hollie says:

    You rebel you! I hate change as well, but I think this time you made the right choice!

  3. markbialczak says:

    I think the official rules of the road dictate that the runners, bikers, every darn moving thing, goes the same direction on the same side of the road, follows the same signs and gives the same signals as cars, Austin.

  4. “Statistics have also proven that it is harder for a driver to hit you if he can see the fear in your eyes.” …..hilarious!

    I’m a creature to habit, as well. Total rule follower… I’m glad you didn’t get squashed out there today. Maybe you should invest in an umbrella hat, Austin.

  5. ksbeth says:

    sometimes the solutions are right before our eyes but it takes a while to see them, ) could you carry or strap on a bottle of water when you run?

  6. Hell yea! Run against the grain!! 🙂

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