To Wave or Not to Wave

Waking up before the sun to get in our miles is something we all enjoy or dread. Out on the road alone with mist on the grass or snow on the ground, often times the paths of two runners will cross at such an hour and a decision is made... to wave or not to wave.

In February's issue of Runner's World there was a wonderful article that covered such a conundrum. (Waver's Dilema, by Robert Sullivan, above illustration by Gary Taxali) It defined a 'wave' as any acknowledgement of the other runner(s) including the general wave, a nod, a hello, a hey, a good morning or any grunt you can muster. Essentially everyone is broken into two groups: wavers and non-wavers.

Perhaps wavers see it as a way of acknowledging the commitment and dedication to those of us that wake early to get our runs in. Or maybe it's a single moment where a nod or wave expresses the unspoken "shared experience" where 2 people out of millions cross a path on the same pavement at the same time. As wavers, are we too sensitive if the other runner doesn't wave back? Do we feel slighted and should we be?

As for non-wavers, there is no need to acknowledge the other runner. We don't wave at everyone we pass in a Marathon or road race. We're out there to accomplish one thing: a good run. Maybe even a tough run. Concentration is needed on maintaining pace and form. Are our intentions to hurt a waver's feelings? No, we can share that same moment of two runners passing at the same point and time in silence and continue down the road.

So there it is, a brief description of what each side may be thinking... let the conversation begin: to wave or not to wave. In the comments section below or on the Official Facebook page, share your thoughts or experiences.

Chalk me up as a waver.


Brianna said...

I'm with you. I'm a waver, unless I see that someone is seriously focused and then I'll hold back and simply nod. That's part of what I love about running - the community of runners and our shared passion for the experience. A wave is a simple, yet effective way to acknowledge that commonality. I won't hold a grudge against non-wavers, though . . . I think my husband is one!

kara said...

I read the article too - found it entertaining.
I wave and smile.
I like a wave back - but no conversation please! I won't hear what you're saying if my music is blasting away.