the jersey head nod and the stuff mcgruff forgot to tell us about spring safety

Sooo now that the weather is warmer

(and I need to lose the 5 pounds of rice pudding I somehow managed to pack on my hips last winter)

I am back to my daily almost daily walk/run around our local reservoir.

(and by walk/run I actually mean walk but there is this one desolated area where I always run full out - I have no idea why I do this - I guess so I can call it a run)

I usually go around the same time, which is not such a good safety thing, but I have my regular peeps there that I do not want to miss.

Now, of course, I do not actually speak to any of these peeps, but we do this head nod to each other that says "Hello. I know you. Yes, this weather is amazing or yes, we are tough Jersey girls (and guys - although the guys are not so tough which is why Jersey girls are world-wide famous and no one is writing songs about the guys) and this weather sucks but we are out here anyway."

Head nods in Jersey are kind of like the myriad vocabulary Inuits have for 'snow' - we can say alot with very limited head movement.

(maybe so we don't mess our hair)

In fact my smirky nod to a mom putting sunblock on her child was really an entire head nod conversation about that crazy Jersey tanning mom that we both agreed is scary and sad and that we really, really wish was from somewhere else.

I feel a certain comfort in seeing the same faces everyday.

There is a couple who run with their dog - a very skinny brown dog who always looks up at me with eyes that whisper "help me, these people are crazy", a very old, very sweaty, very red man who encourages me to keep my CPR skills up to date, just in case and a woman who walks very fast clutching a golf club - the flat kind not the knobby kind, that would be weird.

(I don't nod or make eye contact with this one - she is my pacer though - I am always very happy to see her because she really keeps me moving - I am not sure what she will do if she catches up with me, or me with her so I have to maintain an equal distance - once she stopped at the port-a-john and I caught up with her, it was kind of terrifying, but at least I know who to ask to partner with me if I ever get invited to a miniature golf tournament)

Anyhoo, these walks have me thinking we need some walker/runner tips to keep us safe this spring:

1. If you are on a road - face traffic. You can see the cars coming at you and jump out of the way if necessary - you can also avoid dark panel vans carrying those guys with the candy and missing puppy posters.

2. Keep your music low. You need to be able to hear horns and dogs and people screaming "STOP" (and of course ice cream trucks because sometimes you just gotta have a pushup icepop).

3. Vary your route. Vary your time. Be safe.

4. Walk/run with a friend

(of course this means you actually have to have a friend which, of course, leaves this option out for me)

5. Be a 6'3", 250 pound dude

(or bring one with you - hubs has knee problems, so I still need to find one of these)

That's all I got- I am off to the reservoir since it closes at dusk. Have a wonderful weekend everyone - take some time to get outdoors - if you are in Jersey though - be careful - there is a woman with a nine iron out there somewhere ....

xo all

* no matter how slow you run by modern elements


SummersStudio said...

We may have a few more conversations here in my neighborhood but I am thinking that the head nod speaking a whole conversation might just be close to universal. Definitely got that here when I am out walking the greenway. Oh, the scary lady with the nine iron is the guy who lives across the street from me. Never, ever goes out to walk his little dog with out the golf club tucked under his arm. Kind of extreme in my book but I guess you never know when it might come in handy.

Catherine Ivins said...

yes, I think the head nod is universal and I guess the golf club is, too! xo