I have been running around Lębork here and there since my arrival here. I am not training for a marathon or anything like that, and I probably go for a run at least three times a week. I try and change my running route from time to time, so that I can see more of the town. This has been a good idea because I am able to see more and more of Lębork. I certainly have not lived here for a long time, but thanks to my runs I feel that I have gotten to know more of the town. Very rarely do I see other runners out on the streets while I am running. However, the few times that I do, I am always surprised. Mainly because I usually run at strange times of the day, and I am surprised to see other runners at these times, but also because of what the runners do when they see me.
Every runner with whom I have crossed paths as acknowledged me in some fashion. Sometimes it is a slight nod of the head. Other times it is a wave. On more rarer occasions I have received both a wave and a hello. Each time that a fellow runner acknowledges me, I find it rather nice and pleasant. I had no idea that there was this type of solidarity among runners in Poland. I like it, and I enjoy passing by other runners while I am running in Lębork. The slight acknowledgement that this community gives to one another is a small but meaningful gesture. It is as if they want to say: 'I see that you are out here, yes running sucks, but I recognize that you are here running with the rest of us'. At least that is how I interpret their small gestures
While I was in Warsaw working as an intern, I had a similar experience with runners there as well. I was just as surprised as I am in Lębork. Most of my surprise comes from the fact that I never experienced something like this while running in America. Most American runners keep their heads down and tend not to acknowledge other runners if they happen to meet them while running. Maybe this is because they are more competitive in nature and don't want to acknowledge someone who may be just as good a runner as themselves, if not better. I am not sure about the American running mind-set, America is after all a big and diverse country. However, I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised with the running culture here in Poland. I can definitively say that when I go out running I look forward to passing by other runners, because running can suck, but it is nice to acknowledge and be acknowledged by fellow runners.
Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan David was raised by his parents with his two sisters and brother.