Honking your car horn is a rather interesting, and somewhat antiquated, form of communication. For those in the city, it’s a way of loudly swearing with your vehicle. For those in a small town, it’s a way to say hello to a friend you pass. For any one regardless of metropolis size, it’s a way to vent frustration at traffic or those who take more than 2 seconds to remove their foot from the brake when the light turns green. For runners, a car horn is DESPISED.
I have had quite a few runs ruined by well meaning friends that have honked as they have passed me. The result is not only a break in concentration but a feeling of utter terror that something is wrong….you are about to be hit by said vehicle, there is a pack of zombies running behind you, there is a giant wheel of cheese rolling down the street in your general direction or some other equally frightening scenario that you had drowned out in your focused state.
I will admit, I have been guilty of honking at friends and then cheerfully yelling “HELLO” out of my open window. Another equally startling behavior. After having been jarred out of your focus by a cacophony of noise you are now being shouted at; if you happen to be wearing headphones you can’t quite make out what is being shouted at you. Perhaps it’s verbal warning to watch out for the zombies that are pursuing you. Or be mindful of the cheese. One can never quite tell over the noise of motivating marathon music pulsing through ones ears.
Also, by the time you figure out that you are being honked at and greeted by a friend not chased by a rabid pack of zombies who are screaming at you in some undistinguishable language, the friend has driven past and disappeared around the bend or next street. Honestly, unless you can memorize the license plates, make and model of every car belonging to every person you have met… you spend the rest of your run trying to figure out who the hell just scared the crap out of you.
The simple solution is, don’t honk at runners unless they are truly in danger. Instead, send them a more modern (and quieter) mode of communication to say you saw them on their run and they looked fabulous. A more public method of communication would be best for compliments like that so others can see how awesome said runner is…if we weren’t looking quite so great or you happen to catch us in a moment or two of walking…text us so that our reputation as the next Olympic gold medalist will not be tarnished.
Please share this blog with a friend that continues to startle the Olympic runner in all of us. If you have a moment, comment below and share your most startling honking incident.