Sundays With Stassi: When you see me running…5 tips to make me smile, not curse

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I’m a runner. I’m a Runner. I AM A RUNNER
My running journey started casually in 2010 with occasional walk/runs around the 2.2 mile lake on campus. I loved this experience because it was secluded enough for privacy but still in the middle of campus in case I needed any emergency assistance. Once I moved on to Little Rock and joined Black Girls Run! Little Rock, I began to run in the wee hours of the morning with an amazing group of ladies. My solo runs would always be on the city running trails because I like to be alone. However, now, I am back in my hometown…a very small, country town in GA…and O.M.G. I absolutely HATE to run in my hometown! There’s no group support or scenic route or trails that I’m familiar with. I hate running on treadmills and tracks because they make me feel like a hamster on a wheel or a dog chasing its tail.To make matters worst people always stare at me like they’ve never seen someone workout before!
I AM A RUNNER! Sure, I am slower than the tortoise and the hare may run circles around me, but nevertheless I run. Sure, my running clothes, specifically the compression pants and capris with extra support, gives my body curves that I never knew were there. Sure, I have extra goodies that may bounce and jiggle beyond my control. However, none of this give you the right to stare me down like a T-bone fresh off the grill. I am human. I am woman. I have the right to run without harassment in my community. So, here’s my 2 cents or rather a wish-list that people who see me running would follow.
Etiquette 101 for Spectators:
1. Don’t stare at me. Hi guys, that whole staring at me practically with your tongue hanging out of your mouth routine is just annoying and none of it is appealing. To the ladies, you don’t have to roll your eyes when you see me running. Feel free to ask if you can join me on the next run so that you too can look like me.
2. Don’t hold a conversation with me. I know you have not seen me since we walked out of Tiger Stadium after high school graduation in 2001, but if you see me running just keep it short. You can always friend me on FB to catch up on what’s happened over the last 14 years.
3. It’s ok to offer me water. Sometimes I make not-so-smart decisions. Extending my run that extra mile during the summer without adequate water can be one of them. If I look like I’m thirsty and you want to chat, then offering me water is the easiest way to get me to stop for a moment.
4. It’s ok to say hello or good job. Positive encouragement is welcomed. If you see me, feel free to speak to me by saying “hello,” “hi there,” “have a great run,” “great job,” or any other positive encouragement. Hearing those words gives me that extra motivation that I need to get back home with a few seconds shaved off of my time.
5. Drivers, PLEASE share the road with me. I know there are sidewalks available but they are annoying to run on so if there isn’t another car coming towards you then moving over a little is much appreciated. It keeps me on level ground so that I don’t have to keep running around the cracks in the sidewalk or the trashcans waiting for the sanitation department.
So, if you are an innocent bystander and I come slowly running by you, then tip your hat and yell out, “Keep it up Stassi!” with a smile on your face.
Happy Running,
Stassi Nicole

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