On a RunEasy training run recently.

Focusing on keeping the heart rate down.

At kilometer 10 of 12, coming past a guy and a girl at a picnic area just outside of town. Both went there on his motorbike, both are just post-teenage years, both a little heavyset, smokers.

She sits cross-legged on top of the picnic table, looks at me running past, mumbles “I’d run like that, too.”

If only she did, her life and the world might be better for it. EcoHappy-ly.
Except, she wouldn’t, and the quick glance and immediate interpretation of the scene – “wow, he’s slow” – betrays that she, in fact, doesn’t know the first thing about it.

I’ve experienced that sort of reaction quite a bit. The running tights, in particular, are only too good at getting the non-running folk to come out with all their stereotypes against anything and anyone that’s different.

Looking at people who did parkour was a great lesson on that, too. Young people, loitering around, jumping up and down walls… must be dangerous. They are at least going to hurt themselves, trying to emulate the stunts they see on TV (or make that YouTube). Except, often enough, they were some of the most mature and safety-aware “kids,” working to train both their bodies and their minds… but of course, you wouldn’t see that just from the looking.

We are quick to judge, and based on appearances at that – but we won’t know a thing until we’ve, well, run a mile in someone else’s shoes. Or 50 or 100 in our own, with them.