While this title can conjure up a host of double entendres, in particular with legislation passed recently by a couple of other states, my intent is to keep this in the tradition of the holiday season. With many of our homes already displaying festive yard lighting and inflatables the size of the Adriatica tower, we runners need to do our part and light up as well. The sun is not rising these days until almost 7 a.m. and this poses challenges for us to be seen by drivers. A simple light clip, reflective vest, ankle straps can go a long way in ensuring safety and minimize a close encounter with an F250 or Escalade. It does not take much to time get lit up before we walk out the door. (OK another double entendre).
Yes, the all-black North Face apparel looks quite striking and black is ever so slimming. However, it will do you no good if you can't be seen. Take a few minutes and accessorize your apparel with some reflective items. These can be found at any running store. I read sometime back that 75-80 percent of accidents take place with a 2-3 mile radius of one's home. Understanding that mom and dad are zipping out of their driveway, racing towards stalled traffic on Highway 75, and the last thing on their mind is you running past them listening to whatever your inspiration is to keep you moving.
It just makes sense to light up. We can't forget about early morning's relatives; dusk and evening, those time periods have their own set of challenges that a little extra reflection may assist. Nothing ticks off drivers more than seeing someone dressed in black, tuned out and running to the beat of your own drummer. Let's not give them anymore aggravation than they already may be carrying.
Lighting also helps the following:
--Street runners. Run against traffic, you want to be able to see whats coming so you can react.
--Sidewalk runners. The sidewalk can pose its own obstacle with cracks, bumps and turns that you can't see. A little light also offers some safety from anyone hiding in bushes or between house or loose dogs.
One last item that doesn't have to with safety or lighting is common neighborly courtesy. Say hi or good morning to passing runners or someone walking their dog. Wave a thank you to the driver who is letting you run in front of them as they try to pull out into traffic. Just a smile or a nod goes a long way.
So Stonebridge runners, let's light up this holiday season as we run our way to physical and mental well being! Peace and joy to all of you!