Comedy, Writing

A Open Letter to The Men in White Vans, who Beep or Shout at Me Whilst I am Out Running,

A Open Letter to The Men in White Vans, who Beep or Shout at Me Whilst I am Out Running,

To all the men in white vans who shout or beep their horns at me when I am out running, please stop trying to give me running advice.

I know as amateur sports coaches you can’t help but openly pass comment on my running gait as I jog past you at the traffic lights, but I want you to know I have already done a gait analysis and I know guys, my feet have been found wanting.

Not that I don’t appreciate your effort, but I know advice doesn’t always come for free, and before long you will be charging me for all the times I have sprinted past your vehicles, listening to the latest episode of This American Life, whilst you check out my legs to see if my ankles are rolling. And then when you shout at me I feel so rude at having to ignore you, because I know all you are trying to do is recommend good insoles for my pronating feet.

Sometimes when I am waiting at traffic lights, jumping up and down in order to keep my body warmed up, you go for the ‘hard sell’ and release a loud torrent of helpful tips and advice before the lights change. It seems the area you think needs most work is my butt, and I know it’s lazy and I need to do more squats to wake up my gluteal muscles, but I swear I am on it.

I am use to being shouted at during races, and I know many of you are limbering up your voices for when you go and watch the 10 K’s and half marathons you are avid fans of, but during my training runs I don’t need you to be the Mickey to my rocky. I have a Nike app for that.

You’re least able to articulate your finely tuned athletic advice when you’re out of your vans and drunk, probably due to a early evening spent wallowing in despair at having never quite made it as sports coaches and/or motivational speakers, and you often go from whole sentences, to simple instructions like ‘run’ and ‘come on.’ And to avoid embarrassment over not yet knowing my name, or having a unique nickname for me as a daughter replacement figure you all decide to call me ‘love.’

I don’t want to sound ungrateful as I do appreciate your encouraging words of advice when I am doing anaerobic training and my muscles are starved of oxygen during inclines. All I want is to stop, but the booming words of ‘go on darling’ really get me right to the top of those hills. And I guess you always know when I am cheating on tempo runs, because then you go for the real tough love approach and try and throw crisp packets at me. Running faster to get away from your vans during these times really makes for a good workout, and I am always personal best’s as soon as I run alongside a major transport route!

I have come across team meetings of yours before, normally a lunchtime event spend sitting on a bench in summer, probably discussing the efficiency of interval training on treadmills, and I want to say guys, have a break! You are all workaholics; it’s lunchtime, stop trying to train all these joggers. Whilst all us female joggers really appreciate the effort you put in, and how wise you have been not to waste your energy on the male joggers whom we know would be too stubborn to take your advice, we think you should give yourselves a little holiday. But not too long a holiday, as I would miss hearing how aesthetically pleasing you find my physique, as we both know the leaner I am, the easier it is to shave milliseconds off my personal best at my next racing event.

Overall though, I think I speak for all the lady runners when I say thanks, but no thanks. If we want your excellent advice on our fitness regime we will ask for it, or maybe to balance it out we will start giving you free advice on how best to sit stationary for eight hours a day without developing gout, diabetes or morbid obesity.



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