The Athlete Acknowledgement

My years biking may outnumber my years running, but nevertheless, I cannot help but notice how runners and bikers in passing greet one another. It’s what I like to call the Athlete Acknowledgement. You know, the nodding and hand signals you do to greet others you pass. It’s an unwritten rule of sportsmanship and athletic poise and politeness.

My running nods and waves tend to change, depending on my mood,  what I’m wearing, or how tired I am. When I’m wearing my infamous blue Red Sox cap running, and pass other runners or pedestrians, I will nod my head and smile, with a verbal greeting of some sort. My hand signals change, too. occasionally, I have a little flick of the wrist action if I’m tired, other times I’ll raise up two or three fingers and raise my lower forearm.When I bike, the same thing usually applies. I’ll nod with a “hi” added if the other cyclist is going slow enough to hear me. If they are zipping by, I’ll do a flip with a couple fingers, as to make sure I can still steer the handlebars of the bike.

No matter what, I always, always acknowledge the other person.

It drives me nuts when you pass someone and they do not say hello. I’m not sure if it is a generation thing–that young people nowadays are too encompassed in their Ipods or cell phones to be what I consider polite. Have you noticed this? Youngsters (I’ll take a stab and say in their teens) tend to divert their eyes and look at the ground when you pass and attempt to say hello. Whereas older folks are the complete opposite–they attempt to engage in conversation when they pass–even on a bike. I think they are simply grateful they can still move without an assistive device.

Now, what causes the other athletes to say hello to you? Is it out of  true courtesy and respect, and they are happy to see someone with similar crazy athletic behaviors as themselves? Or is it something else?

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  1. Trackback: Music Selection | A Rendezvous with Sneakers

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