Friday, September 12, 2014

Track Rules: Keep Your Sports to Yourself

Why are there rules for running on a track? Well I actually just tried to look that up, and couldn't find a very specific article to quote. I'll just put it my way then. There are rules for running on a track because it makes it more enjoyable and convenient for everyone, and apparently it helps the track not get worn out so fast. These rules are not very complicated. Three days a week everyone goes clockwise, and the other days, we all should go the opposite way. The inside lanes are for faster runners, and the outside ones are for walkers. Why does everyone seem to find this so complicated? Or, no one finds it difficult to follow, they just don't care and selfishly do whatever they want.

I run on the track because its close to where I live, I don't have to worry about traffic, and I like to pretend that it's easier on my feet and knees. The measurements on the track make it easier to run intervals, and to have a better idea of how far I've gone and how fast (without having to check my phone or watch).

Unfortunately, every time I go to the track I am confronted with the fact that no one really gives a damn about anyone else. It's the "I'll do what I want" attitude, and it frustrates me to no end! I'm not sure I can fit all my snobbery into this one post. Lately running over at the stadium has just been driving me nuts. I run to de-stress. I run to cool off. I don't want to run over people, but I will.

I first especially noticed this people-problem when I was running at night. The track becomes a free for all once it gets dark. The middle field is completely filled with several different groups playing various sports: football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse, etc. This is fine. I don't need to use the turf, so I don't really care what happens there. It does start to bother me when balls and people roll out in my way. One night, I actually had to dodge out of the way before I got hit in the head. Maybe you should learn to play somewhere else. Maybe there should be more public parks that are open at night so soccer players can relocate themselves somewhere where I will not be running. Why is the track the only well lit field in town? Maybe that's a question for another time?

These sports people also don't know how to exit the track in a considerate way. They will slowly gather their belongings, and then drift out onto the track in groups. I guess they realize they still have some things to discuss, so they stop mid-track to talk about these (very important) issues. Do they move when they see me coming? No. And I'm not exactly flying along. They have plenty of time to shift to one side or another. Instead, they just watch as I run all the way around them, sometimes having to go outside of all of the lanes to pass them. Seriously?

Please feel free to play your games on the green space of the track. Contain them to that space! I don't run onto the field and get in your way! I keep myself and my stuff in a tiny little lane. Don't expect me to kick a ball back to you. Keep your balls as far away as possible.

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