I admit to liking structure and routine. I’ll even admit to having a fondness for planning and procedures. Don’t even get me started on lists.
Rules can be good! Helpful, even.
Which means that I sometimes have a hard time bending them.
Don’t get me wrong – I can ‘do’ spontaneous with the best of them…but preferably with advanced warning, and a bit of a ‘heads up’ on what we’re being spontaneous about.
If you don’t mind.
So…this running thing has caused a bit of conflict at times.
I can happily go with the flow on a number of things. I even enjoy it.
But ask me to run through red lights, cross the road when the little man is clearly not even green, or jog the wrong way down a one-way street, and I experience an inner eye-twitch (of sorts). My brain whispers, “rule breaker”, my eyes look around for undercover traffic cops, and my conscience just shakes its head in disappointment.
Well…maybe not exactly like that – but the point it, it’s still not a natural thing to do.
I remember my first 5km running event through the city. The streets were closed off, it was an organised run, but my law-abiding brain initially wanted to stop at every red traffic light and politely wait for zeroes of cars to pass.
I continued on, but the urge to wait was definitely there. So was the eye-twitch.
At my second event, said brain wanted me to go the ‘correct’ way around a roundabout. As in – where the traffic would go. I was in my own little world, following the ‘traffic rules’, and almost did the full loop.
All I was missing (apparently) was a set of indicators and a horn. I forgot to human.
Luckily, I spotted others just in time and followed their path (whew!).
I still prefer trail runs, or a run in the park, but when it comes to ‘bending the rules’ for a stint in the city I’m definitely getting better. Getting up at stupid o’clock also helps; barely any traffic, a few dogs and their humans, and fellow runners.
So my recent triumph?
I ran through three pedestrian crossings before the lovely green ‘walk’ signal gave the OK. Without a guilty look on my face (*shifty eyes*), and without the expectation of an “Excuse me, Mam – we’d like you to come with us” being uttered from the darkness.
Granted, I probably wasn’t fully awake at the time, and no doubt running in a sleep-deprived haze. Even my conscience gave me a free pass.
Or maybe it was still asleep (did I mention it was stupid o’clock?).
Either way – I’d say that’s progress for sure. 😉