Some of my favorite HTP posts revolve around what is ‘proper’ exercise etiquette. It’s a light topic that most of us (and – I’ll admit – including myself) have strong opinions about. For example: Is it OK to Transfer a Bib Number? Or Bandit a Race?, Can I Wear That Race Shirt?, and Can I Re-Wear Workout Clothes? More Than Three Times?! (a non-workout related debate post that I really loved: The Dog Poop Debate). So this week, I’ve a series of debate posts regarding some of the small but significant issues you face when exercising.
Up first: smiling at strangers.
Here’s the question that’s up for debate: When you’re walking, running, or cycling outside, and you pass by a stranger going the opposite direction, do you smile at them? Look down? Do the coy slight head nod? Look through them? An extension of the smile issue: Do you wave or actually say hello? Does it matter if it’s a sunny day, a rainy night, or in a race?
I found this fun article on Runner’s World about Wavers v. Nonwavers. Basically, you’re more likely to wave if it’s a sunny day, you’re older, and you’re in a group of people.
I am a fan of the nod and half smile. I usually gauge whether the other person will acknowledge me first, though. It’s so terribly awkward when you smile and the other person does not.
However, if I’m working really hard, and I’m really tired, I don’t do anything. Sometimes it feels like nodding is expending way too much energy so I just don’t. Is that lazy?
If I’m in a bad mood and I’m running to blow off steam, I will probably not nod. I’m just not feeling friendly.
I am less likely to acknowledge in a crowded place - like a running trail where I am passing dozens of people per mile. But in my quiet neighborhood? Sure, I’ll nod.
Also, I am a fan of the “Hello!” when I’m approaching someone from behind, especially if they are wearing ear buds. It is SO scary when someone comes up from behind you, and you don’t realize they are there until they are passing. Eek!
So – do you nod? Smile? Wave? Or ignore? Do you judge non-wavers (“Meanies!’) Or judge wavers (“Well, aren’t you a special snowflake!”)? Every made a friend thanks to a mid-run wave?